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Late of the Universities of Tubingen, Gbttingen, and Bonn ; Superintendent 
of Sanskrit Studies, and Professor of Sanslirit in the Poena College. 

Edited by Dk. E. W. WEST. 

I. History of the Researches into the Sacred Writings and Keligion of the 
Parsis, from the Earliest Times down to the Present. 
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III. The Zend-Avesta, or the Scripture of the Parsis. 

IV. The Zoroastrian Keligion, as to its Origin and Development. 

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With Accompanying I^arratives. 

Translated from the Chinese by S. BEAL, B.A., Professor of Chinese 
University College, London. 

The Dliammapada, as hitherto known hy the Pali Text Edition, as edited 
by Fausboll, by Max Miiller's English, and Albrecht Weber's German 
translations, consists only of twenty-six chapters or sections, whilst the 
Chinese version, or rather recension, as now translated by Mr. Beal, con- 
sists of thirty-nine sections. The students of Pali who possess Fausboll's 
text, or either of the above-named translations, will therefore needs want 
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obtainable by them. 

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of conduct which won its way over the minds of myriads, and which is now nominally 
professed by 145 milUons, who have overlaid its austere simplicity with innumerable 
ceremonies, forgotten its maxims, perverted its teaching, and so inverted its leading 
principle that a religion whose founder denied a God, now worships that founder as 
•X god himself." — Scotsman, 


Second Edition, post 8vo, cloth, pp. xxiv. — 360, price los. 6d. 



Translated from the Second German Edition by John Mann, M.A., and 
TnioDOK Zaohariab, Ph.D., with the sanction of the Author. 

Dr. BuHLEE, Inspector of Schools in India, writes: — " When I was Pro- 
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of academic lectures. At their first appearance they were by far the most 
learned and able treatment of their subject ; and with their recent additions 
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*' Is perhaps the most comprehensive and lucid survey of Sanskrit literature 
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Post 8vo, cloth, pp. xii. — 198, accompanied by Two Language 
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use to others to publish in an arranged form the notes which he had collected 
for his own edification. 

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Translated from the Sanskrit into English Verse by 
Ralph T. H. GiiipriTH, M.A. 

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Late Professor of Hindustani, Staff College. 

In this work an endeavour has been made to supply the long-felt want of 
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the two are quite inseparable. 

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circle of savants." — Times, 

" It is no slight gain when such subjects are treated fairly and fully in a moderate 
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in new editions detract but little from the general excellence of Mr. Dowson's work." 
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Hon. Doctor of Literature, Leyden, &c., &c. ; Translator of " The Thousand and One 

Nights;" &c., &e. 

A New Edition, Revised and Enlarged, with an Introduction by 

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"... Has been long esteemed in this coimtry aa the compilation of one of the 

greatest Arabic scholars of the time, the late Mr. Lane', the well-known translator of 

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man, Calcutta. 

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Hon. LL.D. of the University of Calcutta, Hon. Member of the Bombay Asiatic 

Society, Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford. 

Third Edition, revised and augmented by considerable Additions, 

with Illustrations and a Map. 

This edition will be found a great improvement on those that preceded it. 
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and customs of the Queen's Indian subjects than we ever remember to have seen in 
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specially familiar— but he deserves the thanks of every Indian, Parsee or Hindu, 
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their necessities." — Times. 


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WitK an Introduction, many Prose Versions, and Parallel Passages from 
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By J. MUIR, C.I.E., D.C.L., LL.D., Ph.D. 

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"... A volume whicli may be taken as a fair illusti-ation alike of tlie religious 
and moial sentiments and of the legendary lore of the best Sanskrit writers." — 
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In Two "Volumes, post 8vo, pp. viii. — 408 and viii. — 348, cloth, price 28s. 



Late of the Bengal Civil Service ; Corresponding Member of the Institute ; Chevalier 
of the Legion of Honour ; l.ate British Minister at the Court of Nepai, &c., &c. 


Section 1. — On the Kocch, B(5d6, and DhimAl Tribes. — Part I. Vocabulary. — 
Part II. Grammar. — Part III. Their Origin, Location, Numbers, Creed, Customs, 
Character, and Condition, with a General Description of the Climate they dwell in. 
— Appendix. 

Section II. — On Himalayan Ethnology. — I. Comparative Vocabulary of the Lan- 
guages of the Broken Tribes of N^p^l. — II. Vocabulary of the Dialects of the Kiranti 
Language. — III. Gi-ammatical Analysis of the Vdyu Language. Tlie VAyu Grammar. 
— IV. Analysis of the Bihing Dialect of the Kiranti Language. The BShing Gram- 
mar. — V. On the Vayu or Hayu Tribe of the Central Himalaya. — VI. On tue Kiranti 
Tribe of the Central Himal£iya. 


Section III. — On the Aborigines of North-Bastern India. Comparative Vocabulary 
of the Tibetan, B6dd, and Gar6 Tongues. 

Section IV.— Aborigines of the North-Eastem Frontier. 

Section V. — Aborigines of the Eastern Frontier. 

Section VI.— The Indo-Chinese Borderers, and their connection with the Hima- 
layans and Tibetans. Comparative Vocabulary of Indo-Chinese Borderers in Arakan. 
Comparative Vocabulary of Indo-Chinese Borderers in Tenasserim. 

Section VII. — ^The Mongolian Affinities of the Caucasians.— Comparison and Ana- 
lysis of Caucasian and Mongolian Words. 

Section VIII.— Physical Type of Tibetans. 

Section IX. — The Aborigines of Central India. — Comparative Vocabulary of the 
Aboriginal Languages of Central India. — Aborigines of the Eastern Ghats.— Vocabu- 
lary of some of the Dialects ol' the Hill and Wandeiing Tribes in the Northei-n Sircars. 
—Aborigines of the Nilgiris, with Remarks on their Affinities.- Supplement to the 
Nilgirian Vocabularies.— The Aborigines of Southern India and Ceylon. 

Section X. — Route of Nepalese Mission to Pekin, with Remarks on the Water- 
Shed and Plateau of Tibet. 

Section XI.— Route from KAthmdndii, the Capital of Nepal, to Darjeeling in 
Sikim. — Memorandum relative to the Seven Cosis of Nepal. 

Section XII. — Some Accounts of the Systems of Law and Police as recognised ia 
the State of NepU. 

Section XIII. — ^The Native Method of making the Paper denominated Hindustan, 

Section XIV.— Pre-eminence of the Vernaculars ; or, the Anglicists Answered : 
Being Letters on the Education of the People of India. 

" For the study of the less-known races of India Mr. Brian Hodgson's ' Miscellane- 
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— Tivies. 


Third Edition, Two Vols., post 8vo, pp. viii.— 268 and viii.— 326, cloth, ^ 
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The "Ways to Neibban, and Notice on the Phongyies or Burmese Monks. 

By the Right Eev. P. BIGANDET, 

Bishop of Ramatha, Vicar-Apostolic of Ava and Pegu. 

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matter, but form a perfect encyclopiedia of Buddhist lore." — Times. 

"A work which will furnish European students of Buddhism with a most valuable 
help in the prosecution of their investigations." — Ediiihurgh Daily Review. 

"Bishop Bigandet's invaluable work, . . . and no work founded — rather trans- 
lated — from original sources presents to the Western student a more faithful picture 
than that of Bishop Bigandet." — Indian Antiquary. 

" Viewed in this light, its importance is sufficient to place students of the subject 
under a deep obligation to its author."— Ca^cu((a Review. 

"This work is one of the greatest authorities upon Buddhism." — Dublin Review. 
' . . . A' perfoi-manoe the great value of which is well known to all students of 
Buddhism." — I'ablet. 

Post Svo, pp. xxiv. — 420, cloth, price i8s. 



Author of *' China's Place in Philology," " Religion in China," &c. &c. 

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" Upon the whole, we know of no work comparable to it for the extent of its 
oiiginal research, and the simplicity with which this complicated system of philo- 
sophy, religion, literature, and ritual is set forth." — British Quarterly Review. 

" The whole volume is replete with learning. ... It deserves most careful study 
from all interested in the history of the religions of the world, and expressly of those 
who are concerned in the propagation of Christianity. Dr. Edkins notices in terms 
of just condemnation the exaggerated praise bestowed upon Buddhism by recent 
English writers." — Record. 

Second Edition, post Svo, pp. xxvi. — 244, cloth, price los. 6d. 



Translated for the First Time into Prose and Verse, "with an Introductory 
Preface, and a Life of the Author, from the Atish Kadah, 

Of Merfcoa College, Oxford, &c. 
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" The new edition has long been desired, and will be welcomed by all who take 
any interest in Oriental poetry. The Gulistan is a typical Persian verse-book of the 
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a secure position as the best version of Sadi's finest work." — Academy. 
" It is both faithfully and gracefully executed."— Tafi^et. 


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Wkitten fkom the Year 1846 10 1878. 

Late Member of Her Majesty's Indian Civil Service; Hon. Secretary to 

the Royal Asiatic Society; 

and Author of " The Modern Languages of the East Indies." 

*' We know none who has described Indian life, especially the life of the natives, 
with so much learning, sympathy, and literary talent." — Academy. 

" It is impossible to do j ustice to any of these essays in the space at o ur command. . . 
But they seem to us to be full of suggestive and original remarks. " — St. James's Gazette, 

" His book contains a vast amount of information, ... of much interest to every 
intelligent reader. It is, he teUs us, the result of thirty-five years of inquiry, 
reflection, and speculation, and that on subjects as full of fascination as of food for 
thought."— Toiilet. 

" The essays exhibit such a thorough acquaintance with the history and 

antiquities of India as to entitle him to speak as one having authority." — Edinburgh 
Daily Review. 

** The author speaks with the authority of personal experience It is this 

constant association with the country and the people which gives such a vividness 
to many of the pages."— ^(Ae^cewm. 

Post 8vo, pp. civ. — 348, cloth, price i8s. 


The Oldest Collection of Folk-lore Extant : 


For the first time Edited in the original Pali. 


And Translated by T. W. Rhys Davids. 

Translation. Volume I. 

" These are tales supposed to have been told by the Buddha of what he had seen 
and heard in his previous births. They are probably the nearest representatives 
of the orieinal Aryan stories from which sprang the folk-lore of Europe as weU as 
India and from which the Semitic nations also borrowed much. The introduction 
contains a most interesting disquisition on the migrations of these fables, tracmg 
their reappearance in the various groups of folk-lore legends respectively known as 
■iEsop's Fables,' the 'Hitopadesa,' the Calila« and Damnag series, and even 'The 
Arabian Nights ' Among other old friends, we meet with a version of the Judgment 
of Solomon" which proves, after aU, to be an Aryan, and not a Semitic tale."— Kmes. 

" It is now some years since Mr. Bhys Davids asserted hie right to be heard on 
this subject by his able article on Buddhism in the new edition of the ' Encyclopaedia 
Britannica.'" — Leeds Merntry. 

" AU who are interested in Buddhist Uterature ought to feel deeply indebted to 
Mr Ehvs Davids. His well-established reputation as a Pah scholar is a sufficient 
guarantee for the fidelity of his version, and the style of his translations is deserving 
of high praise." — Academy. 

" It is certain that no more competent expositor of Buddhism could be found than 
Mr Rhvs Davids, and that these Bhth Stories wiU be of the greatest interest and 
importance to students. In the Jataka book we have, then, a priceless record of the 
earliest imaginative literature of our race; and Mr. Rhys Davids is well warranted 
in claiming that it presents to us a nearly complete picture of the social life and 
customs and popular beliefs of the common people of Aryan tribes, closely related to 
ourselves, just as they were passmg through the first stages of civihsation. -St. 
James's Gazette. 


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Compiled and Translated by PAUL ISAAC HERSHON, 

Author of *' Genesis According to the Talmud," &c. 

With Notes and Copious Indexes. 

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Talmud is a boon to Christians at least." — Times. 

"This is a new volume of the 'Oriental Series,' and its peculiar and popular 
character will make it attractive to general readers. Mr. Hershon is a very com- 
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indifferent, and especially extracts that throw light upon the Scriptures. The 
extracts have been all derived, word for word, and made at first hand, and references 
are carefully given." — British Quarterly Review. 

" Mr. Hershon's book, at all events, will convey to English readers a more complete 
and truthful notion of the Talmud than any other work that has yet appeared." — 
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volumes of the ' Oriental Series,* we have no hesitation in saying that this surpasses 
them all in interest." — Edinburgh Daily Review. 

"■ Mr. Hershon has done this ; he has taken samples from all parts of the Talmud, 
and thus given English readers what is, we believe, a fair set of specimens which 
they can test for themselves." — The Record. 

" Altogether we believe that this book is by far the best fitted in the present state 
of knowledge to enable the general reader or the ordinary student to gain a fair and 
unbiassed conception of the multifarious contents of the wonderful miscellany which 
can only be truly understood— so Jewish pride asserts — ^by the life-long devotion of 
scholars of the Chosen People." — Inquirer. 

" The value and importance of this volume consist in the fact that scarcely, a single 
extract is given in its pages but throws some light, direct or refracted, upon those 
Scriptures which are the common heritage of Jew and Christian alike," — John Dull. 

*' His acquaintance with the Talmud, &c., is seen on every page of his book. . . 
It is a capital specimen of Hebrew scholarship ; a monument of learned, loving, light- 
giving labour." — Jewish Herald. 

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Author of " Yeigo Henkaku Shirafi." 

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" Mr. Chamberlain's volume is, so far as we are aware, the first attempt which has 
been made to interpret the literature of the Japanese to the western world. It is to 
the classical poetry of Old Japan that we must turn for indigenous Japanese thought 
and in the volume before us we have a selection from that poetry rendered into 
graceful English verse." — Tablet. 

''It is undoubtedly one of the best translations of lyric literatm-e which has 
appeared during the close of the last year." — Celestial Empire. 

"Mr. Chamberlain set himself a difficult task when he undertook to reproduce 
Japanese poetry in an English form. But he has evidently laboured con amm-e, and 
his efforts are successful to a degree." — London and China Express. 


Post 8yo, pp. xii. — 164, cloth, price los. 6d. 

THE HISTORY OF ESARHADDON (Son of Sennacherib), 

KING OF ASSYRIA, e.c. 681-668. 

Translated from tlie Cuneiform Inscriptions upon Cylinders and Tablets in 
the British Museum Collection; together with a Grammatical Analysis 
of each Word, Explanations of the Ideographs by Extracts from the 
Bi-Lingual Syllabaries, and List of Eponyms, &c. 


Assyrian Exhibitioner, Christ's College, Cambridge, Member of the 
Society of Biblical Archaeology. 

" Students of scriptural aj-chseology will also appreciate the ' History of Esar- 
haddon.' " — Times. 

*' There is much to attract the scholar in this volume. It does not pretend to 
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controlling its results." — Academi/. 

"Mr. Budge's book is, of course, mainly addressed to Assyrian scholars and 
students. They are not, it is to be feared, a very iiumierous class. But the more 
thanks are due to him on that account for the way in which he has acquitted himself 
in his laborious task." — Tablet. 

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(Usually known as The Mesneviti Sheeip, or Holt Mesnevi) 



Book the First. 

Together with some Account of the Life and Acts of the Author, 

of his Ancestors, and of his Descendants. 

Illustrated by a Selection of Characteristic Anecdotes, as Collected 

by their Historian, 

Mevlana Shemsu-'D-Din Ahmed, el Eflaki, el 'Aeifi. 

Translated, and the Poetry Versified, in English, 


" A complete treasury of occult Oriental lore." — Saturday Review. 

"This book -will be a very valuable help to the reader ignorant of Persia, who is 
desirous of obtaining an insight into a very important department of the literature 
extant in that language." — Tablet. 

Post 8vo, pp. xvi.— 280, cloth, price 6s. 



By Rev. J. LONG, 
Member of the Bengal Asiatic Society, P.R.G.S. 

" We regard the book as valuable, and wish for It a wide circulation and attentive 
reading." — Record. 

" Altogether, it is quite a feast of good things."— fftoSe. 
" Is full of interesting -aiMer."— Antiquary. 


Post 8vo, pp. viii. — 270, cloth, price 7s. 6d. 


Containing a New Kdition of the " Indian Song of Songs," from the Sanscrit 
of the "Gita Govinda" of Jayadeva; Two Books from "The Iliad of 
India" (Mahabharata), "Proverbial Wisdom " from the Shlokas of the 
Hitopadesa, and other Oriental Poems. 

By EDWIN ARNOLD, C.S.I., Author of "The Light of Asia." 

" In this new Tolume of Messrs. TrUbner'e Oriental Series, Mr. Edwin Arnold does 
good service by illustrating, through the medium of his musical English melodies, 
the power of Indian poetry to stir European emotions. The ' Indian Song of Songs ' 
is not unknown to scholars. Mr. Arnold will have introduced it among popular 
English poems. Nothing could be more graceful and delicate than the shades by 
which Krishna is portrayed in the gradual process of being weaned by the love of 

' Beautiful Radha, jasmine-bosomed Radha,' 
from the allurements of the forest nymphs, in whom the five senses are typified." — 

" The studious reader of Mr. Arnold's verse will have added richly to his store of 
Oriental knowledge . . . infused in every page of this delightful volume. ... No 
other English poet has ever thrown his genius and his art so thoroughly into the 
work of translating Eastern ideas as Mr. Arnold has done in his splendid paraphrases 
of language contained in these mighty eipicB." —Daily Telegraph. 

" The poem abounds with imagery of Eastern luxuriousness and sensuousness ; the 
air seems laden with the spicy odours of the tropics, and the verse has a richness and 
a melody sufi&cient to captivate the senses of the dullest," — Standard. 

" The translator, while producing a very enjoyable poem, has adhered with toler- 
able fidelity to the original text."— Overland Mail. 

"We certainly wish Mr. Arnold success in his attempt 'to popularise Indian 
classics,' that being, as his preface tells us, the goal towards which he bends his 
efforts," — Allen's Indian Mail. 

Post 8vo, pp. 336, cloth, price i6s., 


By a. BARTH. 

Translated from the French with the authority and assistance of the Author. 

The author has, at the request of the publishers, considerably enlarged 
the work for the translator, and has added the literature of the subject to 
date ; the translation may, therefore, be looked upon as an equivalent of a 
new and improved edition of the original. 

" This last addition to Messrs. Trllbner's * Oriental Series * is not only a valuable 
manual of the religions of India, which marks a distinct step in the treatment of 
the subject, but also a useful work of reference." — Academy. 

"This volume is a reproduction, with corrections and additions, of an article 
contributed by the learned author two years ago to the * Encyclopedie des Sciences 
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Towards the end of last century, Dr. Francis 
Buchanan, who accompanied Colonel Symes on his 
mission to Ava, remarked that the histories of the 
Burmas might throw some light on a part of the 
world little known, and he hoped soon to be able 
to produce a translation of the Maha E^j§,weng, or 
Great History of Kings.^ Some years later, Dr. Ley- 
deu, in an essay on the languages and literature of the 
Indo-Chinese nations, which shows extensive know- 
ledge of a subject then little regarded in Europe, men- 
tioned the historical works to be found both in Arakan 
and Burma, on the importance of which he observed : 
" Supposing them to be strictly historical, it is needless 
to dilate." ^ Buchanan never carried out his intention, 
and though he had collected many Burmese manu- 
scripts, it is not known what became of them. After 
his return to Europe, he published several papers on 
Burma in the " Edinburgh Philosophical Journal," but 
they referred only to the geography of the country. 
Colonel Henry Burney, who was Eesident at the court 
of the king of Burma for several years up to 1837, 
published numerous papers, being translations of por- 
tions of the Mah^ Eajg,weng, more particularly passages 
relating to the early kings and to the wars between 
Burma and China.^ He observes that the Burmese 

1 See Buchanan on the religion ' Asiatic Researches, vol. x. 
and literature of the Burmas. ^ Journal of the Asiatic Society 

Asiatic Kesearches, vol. vi. Oal- of Bengal, vols, iv., v., vi. 


chronicles "bear strong internal marks of authenticity." 
The Eev. Father Sangermano, who was in Burma as a 
missionary from 1782 to 1806, has written an abridg- 
ment of Burmese history in his valuable work/ The 
Most Eeverend Bishop Bigandet, Vicar Apostolic in 
Ava and Pegu, in his interesting " Legend of the Bur- 
mese Budha," recounts the salient points of history 
which concern the establishment of Buddhism in 
Burma. The Eev. Dr. Mason has contributed much 
to a knowledge of the history of Burma and of Pegu ; 
and the late Captain Forbes, whose early death is a 
great loss to the cause of Burmese research, has pub- 
lished valuable observations on the history and language 
of the country. 

Professor Lassen, who, more than any other of the 
great scholars .of Europe, studied Burmese history, 
has observed : " The Burmese have lengthy historical 
writings, in which not only their own history, but that 
of Arakan, Pegu, Zimmay, Labang, and other neigh- 
bouring lands is given. These writings deserve on the 
whole the praise of credibility, as their authors relate 
not only the favourable events of their history, but 
also the unfavourable. Their inscriptions help to con- 
firm their statements." ^ 

Notwithstanding the many articles by competent 
authors which have appeared on the history of Burma, 
no one has yet published in any European language a^ 
continuous history of the country, whereby the rise 
and progress of the monarchy, and of the people, might 
be traced, and the succession of the events recorded, 
with their relation one to another, explained. In 
the Gazetteer of British Burma, lately published by 
authority at Eangoon, the full history has been nar- 
rated in a more connected form than had been done 

1 Description of the Burmese ^ Indische Alterthumskunde 

Empire. Translated into English vol. iv. p. 369. MS. translation 
by Tandy. Rome, 1833. into English. 


before. But there still remain blanks to be filled in 
the history of Arakan, and the other countries which 
formed the empire of Burma up to the early part of 
the present century. 

The chief authorities which have been followed in 
this little book are the MahS, Eaj^weng, a copy of which 
was obtained from the library of the king of Burma ; 
a history of Arakan written by Maung Mi, a learned 
Arakanese Hsaya ; and a history of Pegu in the Mun 
language by Hsayl dau AthwS,, a Taking Buddhist 
monk, which was translated into Burmese. The last- 
named work is little more than a fragment, as the 
materials for a full history of the Mun people either do 
not exist, or are not now available in Pegu. 

Early in the sixteenth century Europeans began to 
visit Burma in considerable numbers, and their narra- 
tives have been used to supplement or correct in some 
particulars the native histories. Colonel Mi chael Symes, 
in a historical memoir prefixed to his " Account of an 
Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava," gives a trustworthy 
account of events commencing from the re-establish- 
ment of the kingdom of Pegu under Binya D^a in a.d. 
1740 until the time of his own embassy in 1795. This 
narrative has evidently been chiefly derived from per- 
sons whom the writer met in Eangoon, some appa- 
rently Armenians in the Burmese service, who had 
been actors or eyewitnesses in most of the events 

The general fulness of the national historical records 
of the countries which comprised the Burmese empire 
is remarkable. They present a marked contrast to the 
scantiness, or total absence of such writings, among the 
ancient Hindu kingdoms. For though, as remarked by 
Professor Horace Wilson, " genealogies and chronicles 
are found in various parts of India, recorded with some 
perseverance if not much skill," still they are few in 
comparison with the number and variety of states which 

viii PREFACE. 

have existed in India, and in value fall below what 
might be expected from the degree of civilisation and 
literary eminence which had been attained at an early 
period. The methodical writing of annals of events in 
the countries of Indo-China has probably resulted frOm 
the practical difference between Brahmanism and Bud- 
dhism which was gradually developed after the time of 
Goadama. While the former was exclusive, and sought 
to subordinate kings and rulers to the sacred race, the 
latter gave the first place in worldly affairs to the civil 
power, and held out honour and reward, secular and 
religious, to all who worshipped the three treasures 
and observed the moral law. Buddhism favoured the 
general extension of education, and appealed to the 
masses through the vernacular tongues ; and thus, in 
spite of its tenets as to the worthlessness of worldly 
objects, and the inherent misery of being, induced a 
general interest in the affairs of life. The result is seen 
in the EijS, Wanso of Ceylon, and, it may be added, in 
the Eaja Taringiru of Cashmir. The latter, Wilson 
observes, is an exception to the total want of historical 
inc[uiry by the Hindus.^ May not this work with pro- 
bability be referred to a Buddhist original, adapted to 
Hindu readers after the triumph of Brahmanism ? 

The annals of Siam do not appear to have been kept 
with the same regularity and fulness as those of Burma, 
though they furnish an outline of prominent events. 
Of the ancient native histories of Anam, Cambodia, and 
Tonquin, we have as yet no detailed account available 
to the European student. But this deficiency is rapidly 
being supplied by the Socidt^ Acad^mique Indo-Chinoise 
of France. 

The chronicles of Burma are well supplemented by 
ancient stone inscriptions, generally those whichlrecord 
the building of pagodas, and Jiiclude historicar e'vehts 

1 Essay on the Hindu History of Cashmir, Asiatic Researches, 
vol. XV. 


conagfited. therewith./ The inscriptions upon bells cast 
for religious purposes, and suspended in the precincts of 
monasteries and pagodas, in many instances furnish 
important historical information. Each principal pagoda 
has also a " Thamaing," which purports to give the his- 
tory of the founder of the building, and of its subsequent 
benefactors. Such documents include notices of secular 

In preparing the present little book, where the annals 
of the adjoining countries have been available, they 
have been compared with the statements as to contem- 
porary events found in the chronicles of Burma. This 
is especially the case as regards China and Siam. The 
accounts of Burma and of Pegu in the narratives of 
European travellers, commencing with Marco Polo in 
the thirteenth centuryTTiave been summarised in a 
supplementary chapter. It is usefulto compare their 
statements as to some historical facjs, with those given 
in the native chronicles. 

In order that the sequence of events may be as little 
confused as possible, all dates have been reduced to 
the eras B.C. and A.D. The attainment of Nirv§,na 
by Goadama Buddha is assumed to have occurred B.C. 
543, in accordance with Burmese chronology, though this 
date is now supposed to contain an error varying from 
sixty to the extent of a hundred and thirty-one years.^ 
The present Burmese era commences in a.d. 639, at the 
time when the sun enters the sign Aries. It may at 
once be admitted that there are numerous events re- 
corded in the histories of the countries that once formed 
the Burmese empire which no doubt are historically 
true, but which in the several chronicles have been 
hopelessly deranged in time. 

In writing Burmese proper names, the rules proposed 
by Mr. H. L. St. Barbe, late Eesident at Mandalay, for 

1 Mr. Rhys Davids in Ancient temational Numismata Orientalia. 
Coins and Medals of Ceylon. In- London, 1877. 


expressing in Eoman characters the sounds of the spoken 
language, have been generally adopted.i But in the 
case of well-known places, as Eangoon, Pegu, Bassein, 
&c., the ordinary spelling has been followed. The vowel 
system as adopted is as follows : — 

a as 

in woman. 

6 as a in rate. 

a . 

. father. 

fe as in hair. 

i . 

. pin. 

... note. 

i . 

. pique. 

oa ... soar. 

u . 

. full. 

ai ... aisle. 

^ . 

. mute. 

au ... sound 

e . 

. met. 

In the Appendix full lists are given of the kings of 
Burma proper, Arakan^ and Pegu, as found iii the native 

^ Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. x. , New Series, p. 228. 


Page 47. For "Chittagong" read *'Chittagaon." 

133. F(yr " Ibraham Khan " read "IbrahSm Khan." 
137. For "Momein" read "Momiea." 
172. For " ASghATi." read " Afghan." 
212. In Note, for *'xvii." read "xviii." 
216. Omit "Menam or." 

225. For " Laknau" read " Lucknow,'' 

226. i^07' "khengbyau" read " khyengbyan." 
243. For " by the kyl Wungyl " read " under the kyl Wungyi. 


CHAP. Pioe 







PEGU . . ■ 63 








KING ... 104 










A. — List of the Kings op Burma as Entered in the 
Maha Eajaweng. 


















B.— Kings who Reigned in Pegu. 






UNDER WAR£RU, A.D. 1287 . . . .290 




PEGU ... 292 

C.-^ Chronological Table oj' the Kings oe Abakan, . 293 



Country of the Burmese — Burmese people formed by union of Mon- 
goloid tribes — Kshatriya settlers from India— Likeness between 
Burmese and neighbouring tribes — Probability of Kshatriya 
tribes having migrated from India — Opinion of Lassen — Names 
of ancient cities confirm tradition — Many tribes gradually become 
Mramma— Tribes in Tibet and Eastern Himalaya kinsmen of the 
Burmese people — Opinion of Max Miiller — Opinion of Hodgson — 
Tradition as to the first kings in Burmese history — Pirst Ara- 
kanese king — Early Burmese monarchy destroyed by invaders 
from the east — Second monarchy established and overthrown — 
Legend of the preservation of the royal race — Monarchy estab- 
lished at Prome^— New capital built — Irruption of the Tai or Shin 
people from the east — Probable cause of migration of Tai people 
into Burma — Remains at the ancient city of Tagaung support 

The people known to Europeans as Birman, Barman, country ot the 
or Burmese dwell in the western region of Indo-China, 
which is -watered by the river Ir§,wadi. They are most 
numerous in the middle part of the river's course, which 
lies between the twenty-fourth degree of north lati- 
tude and the head of the delta. The mountains which 
bound the river valley on either side are inhabited by 
tribes belonging to the same great family as the Bur- 
mese. The Burman people many ages ago were formed Burmese peo,iie 
into a nation by the- union of Mongoloid tribes, who oT Mongoloid""" 
then occupied the land which is still the home of their *'''^'"'' 



race. Like the wild hill tribes of the present day, they 
probably had no worship but that of the invisible beings 
called N§,t, whom they believed to rule over the woods, 
the hills, and the streams ; who influenced their lives 
in hunting, fishing, and tilling; and when offended 
punished them with sickness, blight, or other calamity. 
The union of the tribes was accomplished, probably 
very gradually, under the influence of Aryan immi- 
grants, chiefly, if we may trust the national traditions, 
seuiersirom Kshatrfyas from Gangetic India, who introduced the 
India. softening influences of Buddhism, and probably those 

simple handicrafts, as spinning and weaving, the ac- 
quirement of which is, next to agriculture, of the 
greatest importance to a rude people. They also pro- 
bably first taught the cultivation of the cotton plant, 
which is now universal among the wildest independent 
tribes. Only a few of the names by which the indi- 
genous tribes were called in the remote past are now 
known; but the Indian settlers gave to them, and 
adopted themselves, the name of BrahmS,, which is 
that used in Buddhist sacred books for the first in- 
habitants of the world. This term, when used to 
designate the existing people, is now written Mr§,mm&, 
and generally pronounced BamS,. Hence have been 
derived the words used by Europeans for this people. 
Likeness be- The race to which the Burmese belong mav be traced 

tween Burmese . . , ^ - . o ./ 

and neighbour- by their physical resemblance to neighbouring tribes, 

ing tribes. ^ ± ^ o o ? 

especially those towards the north ; and this evidence 
I is confirmed by the similarity of their language to the 
tongues of those tribes. Neither history nor tradition 
gives much help in the inquiry into this kinship. The 
Buddhist religion, introduced in its simplest form pro- 
bably two thousand years ago, has led the people to 
link their line of descent with that of their first 
teachers, or with those to whom the legends concern- 
ing Sakya Muni and his tribe referred. Thus the tra- 
dition as to the race from which their earliest kings 


sprung has made the whole people now bearing the 
name of Mr§,mma,, believe that they are descended 
from those Aryan settlers who reached the valley of 
the Ir^wadi from Gangetic India. 

At first sight it appears improbable that any of the Probability of 
royal Kshatriya tribes of Northern India should, at the havin"m1gratld 
early period indicated, have left their homes and pene- 
trated through the wild country of Eastern Bengal to 
the Upper Irawadi. This, however, is what the Bur- 
mese chronicles, repeating an ancient tradition, assert, 
though no adequate cause for the movement is assigned. 
It would have appeared more probable had the migra- 
tion been referred to the time when the Buddhists were 
being overwhelmed in Upper India by the revival of 
Brahmanical influence. But there is no trace in Bur- 
mese tradition of that revolution. The cause assigned 
in the Burmese Mah^ Eajaweng for the first migration 
of the Sakya tribe, is the supposed conquest of that race 
in K§,pilav§,stu by the king of Kosala, before the advent 
of Goadama. While it appears difficult to admit as a 
historical fact the alleged foundation of the Burmese 
monarchy by Kshatriya princes, — and no doubt the 
claim may have originated among the later kings, as 
flattering their vanity and upholding their dignity 
among the people, — still there are some existing facts 
which support the tradition. Professor Lassen,^ after opinion of 
narrating the story as told in the chronicles, though 
rejecting the time assigned for it in the Burmese tradi- 
tion,, accepts as probably true that at a time which 
cannot be precisely determined a prince of Inner India, 
who had been expelled from his kingdom, passed over 
the border range which separates India proper from 
farther India with his forces, and there founded a 
dominion ; that in favour of the credibility of the 
story we have the concordance of the geographical 

1 Indische Alterthumskunde, vol. ii., second book (MS. translation 
into English). 


information with existing localities; and that the 
Indian princes spoke Sanscrit may be most reasonably 
assumed, although the latest compiled records have 
come to us in a Pali form.^ Such is the recorded 
opinion of the great scholar, after careful considera- 
tion of the subject. The route by which the Kshatriya 
princes arrived is indicated in the traditions as being 
through Manipiir, which lies within the basin of the 
Irawadi. The northern part of the Kubo valley, which 
is the direct route from Manipur towards Burma, is 
still called Mauriya or Maurira, said to be the name 
Kaniesofancicnt of the tribe to which King Asoka belonged. If we may 

cities confirm o o •/ 

tradition. acccpt the name Mareura, which occurs in Ptolemy, 

and is by him given as the name of a city in the country 
of the Upper Irawadi, as referring either to this Maurira 
or to a city of the same name near Mweyen, east of 
the river, the building of which is attributed to Indian 
princes, and the ruins of which still exist, then we 
'may conclude that this name has not been fancifully 
applied by the Burmese to the places indicated, later 
than the time when Ptolemy wrote, or the second 
century of the Christian era. The oldest city said in 
Burmese chronicles to have been built by Indian 
princes is Tagaung, on the east bank of the Upper 
Irawadi. Colonel Yule is of opinion that it may be 
identified with the Tugma metropolis of Ptolemy. 
That cities such as those which have been mentioned, 
and of which there are existing remains, should have 
been founded independently by people in the rude 
condition of the Mongoloid tribes, even as we see them 
at the present day in remote places, is incredible. The 

' For the occurrence of Sanscrit has a suggestive remark on the 

words in Burmese without any same subject in Bunsen's Philo- 

oonnection with Buddhism, see an sophy of Universal History, vol. 

interesting article by Mr. H. L. St. i. p. 383, note. As to the lan- 

Barbe, B.C.S., in the Journal of guage spoken by Goadaraa Buddha, 

the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. see Oldenberg, English transla- 

xlviii.,N.S., p. 253. Max Miiller tion, p. 177. 


tradition, therefore, as to the building of cities and the 
first commencement of the Burmese monarchy by Indian 
settlers, whether Kshatriya princes or others, may be 
accepted as probably true. That those Indians should 
have arrived by a northern or north-western route, and 
not have ascended from the delta of the Irawadi, is 
rendered certain from the history of Pegu. 

The Indian settlers no doubt, in a few generations, Many tribes 
became merged in the mass of Mongoloid tribes whom fome'Mrimrn&. 
they found in the country. Only three names have 
been handed down as borne by original tribes, or the 
first conjunction of such tribes — that is, K§,nran, Pyu 
or Pru, and Sak or Thek. The last, however, is not an 
original native term, but probably an abbreviation of 
Sakya, and may have been retained by at least a por- 
tion of the earliest Indian settlers and their descendants 
for some time. But later, all who joined them were 
admitted to brotherhood, with the proud designation of 
Brahm§,. This term has, in the laps,e of ages, included 
many tribes; and within the nineteenth century the 
great body of the Talaing people dwelling in the delta 
of the Ir§,wadi have assumed the name, and adopted, 
or insensibly received with it, the language of the 

To find the true kinsmen of the ancestors of the Tribes in Tibet 

. ^ and the Eastern 

Burmese people, that is, of the original Mongoloids HimMaya kins- 

r r ' ' ° '-' men of the Bur- 

before the arrival of Indian immigrants, we must look mese people. 
to the present neighbouring tribes, many of whom are 
still unaltered by Buddhism and have their languages 
unwritten. Through them the lineage of the existing 
Burmese people may be traced to tribes dwelling in ^ 
the Eastern Himalaya and the adjoining region of i u- 
Tibet. Mr. Bryan Hodgson,^ from the evidence of 
language and race, derives the whole of the Himalayan 
tribes from the population beyond the snows, which 

' Essays on the Aborigines of Asiatic Society of Bengal for 
the Himalaya, Journal of the 1848, 1849, and 1853. 


has in all time been one and the same, or Turanian, 
with subordinate distinctions equally found beyond and 
within the Himalaya. The identity of some words for 
simple objects in the languages of Tibet, of some of the 
tribes of Nepal, and of Burma, is very remarkable. A 
few words in those languages which show obvious 
similarity one to another will be found in a note at the 
end of this chapter. The Indo-Chinese, the Tibetans, 
and the Altaians form, Mr. Hodgson considers, but one 
ethnic family. The principal tribes now bordering on 
the south-east part of Tibet who may be considered 
as nearest akin to the Burmese are the Mishmi and the 
Abor. The former, says Eobinson, occupy the ranges 
of low hills that form the north-east boundary of the 
valley of AsSm.^ Dalton states that their country ex- 
tended up the river Brahmaputra proper to the confines 
of Tibet.^ Not far from the Mishmi on the south, 
though other little known tribes intervene, are now the 
Chingpaw or Singpho. They have advanced from the 
south into, As§,m only from towards the end of last 
century. They extend through a long line of hilly 
country, north and south, along both ]Danks of" the 
Ir§,wadi and about the head waters of the Khyeng- 
dweng. They a,xe the same race as the people known as 
Kakhyen, living in the hills east of Bamoa, where they 
appeared about two centuries ago coming from the 
Opinion of Mnx uorth. ProfessoT Max Miiller has classed the languages 
from languE^e. of the Mishmi, Abor, Burmese, Singpho, and a few other 
tribes as a Lohitic subdivision of Bhotiya, now gene- 
I rally called Tibeto-Burman.* The Tai or Siamese 
branch of the Indo-Chinese peoples, called Sh§,n by 
the Burmese, Max Miiller considers were the first to 

^ Descriptive Account of AsSm. sophy of Universal History, vol. 

Calcutta, 1841. i. pp. 357-402. See also Gram- 

2 DescriptiveEthnology of Ben- matical Sketch of the Kakhyen 

gal. Calcutta, 1872. Language, by Cushing, Journal 

'■' Essay on the Turanian Family of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 

of Languages in Bunsen's Philo- xii., N.S., p. 395. 


migrate from their original seat in Central Asia to- 
wards the south, and to settle along the rivers Mekong, 
Menam, Ir§,wadi, and Brahmaputra. 

The near kinship of bhe Burmese people with the opinion ot 
tribes designated Lohitic is deduced from the physical 
likeness which exists among them all. Their languages 
still show a common source. The tribes now dwelling 
in the mountains of Arakan, chiefly the Kami and the 
Khyeng, are included in the same family. The pro- 
genitors of all those tribes, descending at a remote 
period of the past from their original home in the land 
of Bhote, through, as Hodgson expresses it, " the hun- 
dred gates of the Himalaya," after having dwelt for a 
time in the country of the middle Brahmaputra, now 
known as Asam, reached the basin of the Irawadi. 

The Maha Raj§.weng, or history of the Burmese Tradition as to 

,. -.5^... _ ., tTie first itings - 

kings, knows not this kinship, it opens witii an ac- in Burmese 
count of the first formation of the earth according to 
Buddhist cosmogony, and the appearance thereon of the 
progenitors of the human race. It then describes the 
small states of the S4kya E§,j§,s in Northern India. 
Prince Siddh§,rtha, destined to become Buddha, was the 
son of the Hkjk of one of those states. Long before 
his birth, in consequence of wars among the Sakya 
clans and between them and their neighbours, a chief 
to whom tradition gives the name of Abhi Eslja, left 
K§,pilav^stu and came with an army to the country of the 
Middle Irawadi. There he established himself and built 
the city of Tagaung, the ruins of which still exist. At 
his death he left two sons, the elder named K^n Eg,jagyl, 
and the younger Kan Eajange. They disputed the suc- 
cession to the throne. It was agreed that the differ- 
ence should be settled in favour of him who should 
first complete a religious building. By an artifice the 
younger brother made it appear that he had finished 
his in one night, and he was declared the winner. He 
therefore succeeded to his father's kingdom. The elder 


brother collected his followers and went down the Ira- 
wadi. He reached the mouth of the Khyengdweng 
river, which he ascended, and then established himself 
in the southern portion of the country now known as 
the Kubo valley, at or near a hill called Kal6. The 
tribes Pyu, K§,nran, and S^k are described as then in 
the land, and Kin ES,jagyi made his son Muddusitta 
king over them. He with his followers went towards 
the south-west, until he reached a mountain in the 
northern part of Arakan, now called Kyaukpand- 
aung. There he established the capital of his king- 
First Arakanese (jom. FoUowiug this legend, the Arakanese chroniclers 
• derive their whole race from this king and his followers, 
and claim to be the elder branch of the Mr^mm^ family. 
The date they fix for the commencement of the reign 
of K^n E§,jagyl answers to B.C. 825. The Burmese 
chronicle is silent upon this point. Leaving for the 
present the elder though less distinguished branch of 
the race, the fortune of the younger in the country of 
the Ir§,wadi has to be followed. 
Early Burmese Kau E§,j^ng§ rcigued in Tagaung, the city of his 
stroyed by inva. father. The BurmBsc chronicle records that he had 

ders from the ^ , . ^ ... 

ea-t, thirty-one descendants, who reigned successively in 

that city. The last king of the dynasty, named Bhin- 
naka, was overthrown by an invasion of tribes coming 
from a country to the east called Gandalarit, in the 
land of Tsin or Sin, which corresponds generally with 
Yunn§,n.i These invaders are termed " Taruk" and 
" Taret," the names given in after times to the Chinese 

1 Tsin, it will be remembered, is applied to the Chinese in the 

was the name of a, Chinese dyn- Burmese chronicles. It is proba- 

asty reigning B.C. 249, which lasted bly the same as Turk. The word 

only for three years. A second Taret is applied to the Mongol and 

Tsin dynasty was established a.d. the Manchu. Gandalarit is a, 

265, which lasted until A. D. 317. name transferred by Burmese 

The kings of this dynasty reigned chroniclers in modern times from 

in the western and southern part the Buddhist geography of India, 

of the empire. After the Mongol in which Gandhara was placed 

invasion of Burma in the thir- west of the Indus and mainly 

teenth century, the name Taruk north of the lower course of the 


and Manchu, and may be considered as designations 
incorrectly applied by later copyists of the chronicles 
to the earlier conquerors. King Bhinnak^ fled to Male, 
now a town on the west bank of the Irawadi below 
Tagaung. There he died, leaving a queen who is called 
N^gahsin. His followers separated into three bodies. 
One remained with the queen ; another moved to Kale, 
where the descendants of Muddusitta still reigned ; the . 
third went eastward into the Sh^n country. 

About this time, Goadama Buddha being still alive, Second monar- 
a second band of immigrant Kshatriyas from Gangetic ^Jofertwl 
India arrived, led by baza E^ja. They settled at Mau- 
riya, east of the Irawadi, near a village now called Mwe- 
yen. The E^jg, afterwards moved to Male,married Queen 
Nagahsin, and they then went north and built a city 
close to the ancient capital Tagaung, now known as Old 
Pug^n. In the Burmese chronicle no mention is made 
of the invaders from the east interfering to prevent this 
settlement, and the ancient capital not long after was 
again occupied. Sixteen kings succeeded this founder 
of the second dynasty. The last of them, Thado MahS, 
Eaja, having no sou, the queen's brother was appointed 
Ainsh^meng, and declared to be heir to the throne.^ 
The king was dethroned by invaders, but whether by 

Kabul river. See The Middle younger brother of the king gene- 
Kingdom, by Wells Williams, vol. rally fills this post, according to 
ii. p. 211, New York, 1861 ; the pleasure of the sovereign. A 
Cunningham's Ancient Geogra- somewhat similar position is held 
phy of India, p. 47 ; and Yule in by the second or junior king in 
Journal of Royal Asiatic Society. Liam, and also in Cambodia ; and 
^ Ainshemeng is the modem there are traces of the same ar- 
title in Burma of the heir-apparent rangement in some of the Sh^n 
to the throne, and means literally states. It is possible that the office 
" Lord of the eastern house." The of Shiogoon or Tycoon, in Japan, 
office is similar to and is derived may have originated from the same 
from that of the Yuva Raja in influence. The government of 
the ancient Hindu kingdoms. In But^n under a DhurmarUja, the 
Burma, the heir-apparent to the spiritual head,and a Debr^ja, the 
throne, like Rama in the kingdom temporal head, may have been de- 
of his father, Dasaratha, is in some rived from the same model, but 
degree associated with the king in considerably altered by time and 
the government, and is ex officio circumstances from the original, 
commander-in-chief. The son or 



Legend of the 
preHervation of 
the royal race. 

Monarchy esta- 
blished at 

the descendants of the former conquerors, or by others 
from the eastward, is not stated. He hid himself from 
the invaders, and his queen gave birth to twin sons, 
who were born blind. The legend runs that the Ain- 
shemeng, when out hunting, followed a wild boar so 
eagerly that he lost his way in the forest. Wandering 
on, he became wearied with the world, and' determined 
to become a hermit. Down the course of the river, far 
from his country, he lighted on a hill where was a cave 
close to the present town of Prome, and there he dwelt. 
The three tribes before mentioned were in this land. 
In Tagaung, the twin sons of the dethroned king, being 
blind, were according to custom to be put to death as 
being unfit to rule. But the queen concealed them 
until they had become young men. They were then put 
into a boat and set afloat on the Ir^wadi. While borne 
along by the stream they received their sight, and at 
length reached Prome.^ There they met a daughter of 
the hermit, whom they saw drawing water from the 
river, and found that her father was their uncle. The 
elder of the princes, Mah^ Thambawli, was then mar- 
ried to his cousin. He was the first of the dynasty 
established at or- near Prome, about 483 years before 
Christ, according to the Mah§, E&j§,weng. From this 
ruler the kings of Burma claim descent, though several 
breaks in the succession appear in the course of time. 
The national chronicle makes no further reference to 
the country of Tagaung for several centuries. 

Mah^ Thambawg, reigned only six years, and was 
succeeded by his brother, Sulathambaw^, who reigned 
for thirty-five years. The son of the elder brother then 
came to the throne. He is called Dwuttabaung. The 
capital city of this dynasty had hitherto been Prome. A 
new city was now founded on an extensive plain about 

^ The town called Prome by 
Europeans is Pyi or Prl in Bur- 
mese. The name may possibly be 

connected with the tribal name, 
Pya or Fr<x. 


five miles to the eastward, and called Thargkhettarl^ New capital 
The ruins still exist, and are known as EathSmyu or 
" city of the hermit." The name Dwuttabaung, whether 
representing a mythical or a real personage, is held in 
deep veneration by the Burmese people. A well near 
Prome is still shown to travellers as having been dug by 
the good king, and the water of it is presented to those 
whom the people desire to honour. Nevertheless it is 
related that he committed an act of injustice by forcibly 
taking possession of land dedicated to a monastery; that 
misfortunes then overtook him, and that having gone 
to sea, his ship was wrecked at Nagarlt, the whirlpool 
where the sea-dragon carries down vessels to the ocean 
depths.^ The name Maha Thambawa, it is observed 
by Lassen, cannot be personal, but is an expression of 
the matter of fact that the ruling race in Tharekhet- 
tarS, descended from the old family in Tagaung, as the 
word signifies in Pali " the great origin." Most students 
of Burmese history will concur in the soundness of this 

In the Maha E§,ja.weng the destruction of the first irruption of the 
monarchy established at Tagaung by Abhi Eaja is attri- people from the 
buted to an invasion by Taruk and Taret ; but, as has 
already been stated, these are modern terms now applied 
to the Chinese and Manchu. But the story of the over- 
throw of the early kingdom probably rests on a histo- 
rical event which has been referred to an earlier period 
than inquiry will support. From the indication of 
language. Professor Max Miiller is of opinion that the 
ancestors of the Tai people were the first to migrate 
southwards from their original seat in Central Asia, 

1 TharSkhettara is interpreted ^ The bluff of land so called by 

by Lassen as representing Srlkhe- the Burmese is known to Buro- 

tra, " the field of fortune." Khet- pean sailors as Cape Negrais, a 

tara is also the Burmanised form corruption of the Burmese name, 

of Kshatriya, and the name has From the violence of opposing tides 

been interpreted as referring to it is still the scene of frequent 

the race from which the kings of wrecks of native craft. 
Burma claim to have descended. 


and that they settled along the rivers Mekong, Men^m, 
Ir§,wadi, and Brahmaputra. There does not appear to 
be now any trace of the Tai branch as having originally 
dwelt with other Mongoloid tribes in that part of the 
Ir&wadi valley where the kingdom of Tagaung lay; 
but at the time when that kingdom was formed, people 
of the Tai race were no doubt in the country of the 
next river to the eastward,, the S41win; and there is 
evidence of an irruption of that people into the country 
of the Ir§,wadi during the first century of the Christian 
era, as mentioned in a Sh^n chronicle preserved in Mani- 
pur.i From that it appears that early in the Christian 
era the Sh^n, coming from the eastward, entered the 
country now called Burma; first had their chief seat 
at Muanglong on the Shw^l§ river ; and that their first 
king is called KhuUyi, whose reign is said to have com- 
menced A.D. 80. The Shan dominion was gradually 
extended in the country of the Ir^wadi, and long after 
Murgnow was king. The kingdom is in the Sh^n 

i.T>. 767- chronicle called Pong.^ The after history of that king- 
dom, which in later times was broken up into several 
independent states, will appear in a future chapter. It 

A.D. 777. Tffiii be sufficient to state here that Murgnow died, 
leaving two sons, SukamphS, and SamlongphS,. The 
first ascended the throne of what at that time may pro- 
perly be called the kingdom of Pong. The second was 
employed by his brother to subdue the surrounding 
countries. He conquered Kach§,r, Tippera, Manipur, 

' Pemberton's Keport on the narrative by an Indian faktr who 

Eastern Frontier of Bengal. Cal- visited MauipUr about A.D. 1.763, 

outta, 1835. See also Anderson's He calls that country Meckley, a 

Report on the Expedition to West- corruption probably of Moitay, the 

ern Yunnan. Calcutta, 187 1, pp. race-name of the inhabitants. He 

I to 7. Also British Burma Ga- speaks of the Upper Irftwadi as the 

zetteer, voL i. pp. 173-176. country of Pong or Poong. • Prom 

■^ The term "Pong "is not knov?n discussions as to the right to the 

to the Burmese. It appears to be Kubo valley in 1830, the name 

the name by which the country of appears applicable to the state 

the Upper IrSwadi is still called in called by the Burmese Mogaung. 

Manipdr. In Dalrymple's Oriental See Historical Review by Bayfield. 

Repertory, vol. ii. p. 477, there is a Calcutta, 1835. 


and Askm. From him the Ahom kings of the last- 
named country were said to have descended. Eobin- 
son, however, in his work on As^m, places the arrival 
of the Ahoms in that province about the beginning of 
the thirteenth century of the Christian era, Chukaph§, 
being the first king of whom there is any authentic 
record. An incursion into As§,m by Samlongpha may 
have occurred, but since the conversion of the Ahom 
kings to the Brahmanical faith, the princes of this 
dynasty have claimed descent from the god Indra, and 
the continuity of their history or traditions is lost. 
However uncertain the period of the first advance into 
As§,m, it may be accepted as historical that the Tai 
race became supreme in the country of the Upper Iri- 
wadi early in the Christian era, and continued to be so 
under a consolidated monarchy for several centuries. 
When Sookamphi, died, it appears probable that the *.d. sos. 
Shan kingdom began to be broken up into states under 
separate independent chiefs, in which condition it con- 
tinued until the Burmese monarchy acquired power 
under Anoarahta in the eleventh century. 

Some help to an explanation of the movement of ProbaWe cause 
the Sh&n people from the eastward into the valley of Tai people into 
the Ir&wadi is derived from the history of China.^ In 
the time of the Han, the country now known as Yun- 
nan, or a great part of it, was called Teen. The 
inhabitants are described as barbarians. A Chinese 
general, Chwang Keaou, occupied a site on what is 
now a lake in the vicinity of the city Yunn§,n, and 
established himself as king of Teen. Assuming the 
garb of the barbarians and adopting their customs, he 
was accepted as their chief. In the year B.C. 122, an 
expedition was fitted out by the emperor of the Han 
dynasty, to find the way through the south-western 

1 See History of the South- W. H. Howorth, Jour. Anthropo- 
Western Barbarians, translated by logical Inst., vol. ix. p. 53. 
A. Wylie, with introduction by 


barbarians to India ; but the officers of the expedition 
B.C. 109. were stopped by the king of Teen. After this an army 
was sent against Teen, when the king submitted. Im- 
perial officers were then appointed, and the region was 
B.C, 86. named Yihchow. But an extensive rebellion occurred 
among the tribes in Yihchow : many thousands of 
people were killed, and over ten thousand head of 
cattle were carried off. When Wang Mang usurped 
^•D. 9. the imperial throne, the barbarians again rebelled, and 
killed the grand director of Yihchow. This caused 
further chastisement by the imperial armies, and great 
destruction of life. From these statements it may 
' Teasonably be inferred that the tribes of Tai or Sh§,n 
race dwelling in the country of the Upper Mekong and 
Salwin rivers were driven westward, and that their 
first appearance in the basin of the Ir^wadi began 
earlier thaiT'the date assigned for the establishment of 
their monarchy on the ShwSle river. This movement 
gradually gatheredr strength ; and when the numbers 
of the immigrants had become sufficient to assert their 
superiority, the result was what has been told in the 
Burmese history as the irruption of barbarians, who 
overthrew the monarchy founded by Kshatriya princes. 
The event, however, has in that history been antedated 
by several centuries. The descendants of those princes, 
being driven from their kingdom, are represented as 
establishing themselves near Prome; and for several 
centuries the national history is silent as to events in 
the upper country. 
Hemains at the The existing ruius of Tagaung, so far as they have 
Tagaung^Bup- been explored, give support to the general truth of the 
por ra 1 ion. .j^pg^jj^^^JQ^ g^g |;q ^t^q gg^^ gf ^]^g aucieut ludo-Burmese 

monarchy. The Shan people make no claim to heri- 
tage in them. Buddhist images, and bricks bearing 
the effigy of Buddha stamped thereon, and Pali inscrip- 
tions in ancient devan§,gari character, have been found 


among the ruins.i The letters are of the form referred 
to the time of the Guptas, used during the two first 
centuries of the Christian era. There appears no good 
reason for concluding that these bricks were made at a 
later period than that during which similar letters were 
in use in India. It has been suggested that the bricks 
may have been made at Gaya, and brought from thence. 
If so, the fact would show an early communication 
between Upper Burma and Gangetic India. It is, 
however, more probable that workmen from India were 
brought to make the bricks or to carve the forms used 
to stamp them. At Lower or New Pugan bricks of a 
similar character, but of much later age, exist in thou- 
sands, having been used to construct the relic chambers 
of pagodas. They are so numerous as to preclude the 
probability of their having been imported. The tradi- 
tions of the Burmese and the present remains and 
names of ancient cities, render it probable that early 
communication between Gangetic India and Tagaung 
existed, and was carried on through Eastern Bengal and 
Manipur, rather than through Thahtun or Pegu gene- 
rally. In after times the revival of religion, and the 
reduction of the Burmese language to writing in the 
form now existing, were accomplished by teachers 
cominc from the latter country; but this does not 
invalidate the strong presumptive evidence there is of 
the long anterior arrival among the Mongoloid tribes 
dwelling in the upper part of the Middle Ir^wadi, of 
Indian settlers coming through Eastern Bengal, and the 
gradual consolidation of those tribes into a nation, 
through the instruction of a more advanced race. 

1 Journal of Asiatic Society of Report on the Expedition to 
Bengal, vol. Iv., and Anderson's Western Yunnan, p. 206. 



Note on the Identity of some Words in the Languages of the 
Bhotiya and Burmese Peoples. 

In the following list the words in Tibetan are taken from Mr. 
Hodgson's Essays. In one or two instances words from the 
languages of the Gurung and Magar tribes have been given as 
illustrating the connection with Burmese more distinctly than 
Tibetan. The letters G and M are attached to such words. In 
some instances the Arakanese form of word is given instead of 
Burmese. To these the letter A is attached. 





My4 (G and M). 













Mrdk (A). 







Hair of the head. 

Chham (M). 




Lak (A). 





Wak (M). 

Wak (A). 




















Nang (M). 

Nang (A). 








Sum. ■ 



Pli (G). 














( 17 ) 



Kingdom of Prome or ThargkhettarS— Extent not known— Kingdom 
ended by civil war and invasion — PugSn foimded — Burmese 
chronicle obscure as to tlie fall of the monarchy ofTharekhettara 
— Connection claimed between the dynasties of Tagaung and 
PugSn — Establishment of the present Burmese era — Dragon-wor- 
ship — Anoarahta, the hero-king of Burma. 

The founder of the city of Thar^khettar^, having Kinsdom of 
perished at sea, was succeeded by his son, Dwuttaran. Tha^ekuttara. 
Nothing is recorded regarding him or his successors, 
and the dynasty came to an end B.C. no, according to 
the chronology of the Maha E§,jaweng. The king then 
reigning adopted a son, who succeeded him, and the 
regular succession continued uninterrupted until the 
reign of Thupinya, who ascended the throne a.d. 84. 
In the Burmese chronicle twenty-seven kings of this 
dynasty are said to have reigned in Prome and Thar^k- 
hettara during five hundred and seventy-eight years. 

Throughout that period, except occurrences at the Extent of the 
beginning and end 01 the monarchy, no event 01 im- known, 
portance which can be accepted as historical is men- 
tioned. The extent of country ruled by the kings is 
not indicated. It may be conjectured that the king- 
dom included the valley of the Irawadi for a few miles 
north and south of Prome, and that petty chiefs of 
tribes near akin to those from which the Burmese 
people were formed, ruled in small tracts of land up to 
the border of the country occupied by the Tai race. 
To the south was the kingdom known later as Pegu, 



which, about the time when Tharekhettard came to an 
end, had become consolidated under foreign kings from 
Teling§,na with the capital at Thahtun, had been en- 
riched by commerce with India, and civilised by reli- 
gious teaching. How far similar benefits had been 
extended to the kingdom of TharekhettarS, is not 
known. It is probable that the people were in a 
much ruder condition than those in the delta, and that 
the rudimentary Buddhism originally introduced under 
the Kshatriya kings had become hidden beneath wild 
Kingdom ended In the Burmcsc chronicle a strange story is told of 
and invasion, the cveut which led to the ending of the kingdom, 
founded. "^ " The tribcs then existing under the monarchy were the 
Py1i, K§,nr^n, and Mr§,mm^. A civil war arose; the 
two former tribes fighting for pre-eminence. The 
last king, ThupinyEi, died during the struggle, after a 
reign of eleven years. The quarrel of the tribes was at 
last settled by a method already known in the legends 
of the Burmese monarchy — the building of a pagoda 
or other religious fabric. In this peaceful contest the 
Pyu were victorious, and the K£lnrl,n retired westward. 
A section of this tribe was already settled in the hilly 
country of southern Arakan. The Pyu now fought 
among themselves and separated into two parties. One 
division having occupied the hilly district to the south- 
east of Prome, was attacked by the Talaings, and then 
crossed the great river into the country west of 
Padaung. There they were attacked by the K^nran 
as intruders into land already occupied, and were 
driven north to Mendun. They retired farther north, 
and then crossing the Ir§,wadi under their leader Tha- 
muddarit, said to be nephew to ThupinyS,, arrived 
at a place on the river-bank called Yunhlwutguen. 
Near to this the city of Pug§,n, called New Pug^n, was 
founded. Thirteen years had been occupied in the 
wandering of the tribe. After this period the separate 


tribes are seldom mentioned, except in ancient ballads, 
and the name MrlmmS, appears as the national desig- 
nation for all. 

No distinct explanation is found in the chronicles as Burmese 
to the events which led to the destruction of the king- obscure as to 
dom of TharSkhettarS,. The general inference from monarchy of 
the narrative in the Maha Eajaweng is that civil war 
among the tribes led to their dispersion. But the 
mention of the Taking having attacked the Pyu after 
the first contest, and the flight of the latter from Thare- 
khettara, makes it probable that the kingdom was con- 
quered by the people from the delta. At the time — the 
first century of the Christian era — when the fall of the 
monarchy is placed, and for some centuries later, the 
kingdom, of which Thahtun was the capital, was exist- 
ing in prosperity. Though the chief city was outside 
the basin of the IrS,wadi, the territory included the 
whole of the delta of that river. The kings were of 
Indian race from Telingana, and their country was 
known as Suvarna Bhumi, of Buddhist fame. But as 
the country, known better from the later capital as 
Pegii, was conquered in the eleventh century by the 
king of Pug§,n, and all records were destroyed or 
carried away, no account remains of the early history 
and the extension northward of the Talaing kingdom. 
That can only be now gathered from tradition and a 
few fragmentary notices. 

The Burmese MahS, RajS-weng relates, in the manner connection 
that has been stated, the establishment of the Pugan dynasties of 
monarchy by Thamuddarit, as chief of the Pyu tribe, pulln"^"" 
He was not directly descended in the male line from 
the Kshatriya kings of Tagaung ; and the chroniclers, 
probably in order to exalt the glory of later kings, have 
produced a hero of that race to connect the modern 
occupants of the throne of Burma with the ancient , 
monarchy. It is told, that though the upper country 
was still in confusion, consequent on the ancient 


Kshatriya dynasty having been overthrown by in- 
vaders from the eastward, that nevertheless the race 
of the former kings was not extinct. A younger son 
of Thado Maha EajS,, the father of the twin sons set 
afloat, as has been told, on the Ir^wadi, had remained 
in the kingdom, although hidden from observation, and 
survived the conquest. His descendant at the time of 
the destruction of TharSkhettarS. was named Aditsa, 
the name of the sun-god. He lived concealed at MalS, 
a town on the Upper Ir§,wadi, where he had a son born 
to him called Soatt. The young prince came to the 
newly founded city of Pugan, and lived in the house 
of a Py^ peasant. The country was then infested by 
savage animals and flying monsters, which devoured 
the people. Soatl destroyed them, and King Tha- 
muddarlt gave him his daughter in marriage, and 
appointed him ainshSmeng, or heir-apparent. He did 
not, however, succeed to the throne on the death of his 
father-in-law. On that event, a hermit, styled EathS 
Kyaung, was, with the consent of the heir-apparent, 
raised to the throne, and he reigned for fifteen years. 
Soati, called also Py^ Menti, because he had been 
brought up in the louse of a Pyu, then became king. 
It is stated that he extended his dominions to the 
upper course of the Ir^wadi, regaining much of the 
territory that had been lost by the fall of the old 
kingdom, and defeated the Chinese, who had invaded 
that part of the country situated east of the river, called 
Koath^mbi.1 His reign, it is said, extended over seventy- 

A.D. S43. five years, and he was no years old when he died. 
After his death nothing of importance is recorded until 

A.D. 38S. Kyaungdarlt ascended the throne. It is stated that in 
his reign the Buddhist Scriptures having been brought 
to Thahtun by the great teacher Buddhaghoso, Pug^n 
participated in the benefit derivable therefrom. There 

1 A district so called after the Gangetic India, Kosambi in the 
famous Buddhist kingdom in Dtiab. 


are, however, inconsistent statements on this subject; 
or, if the books of the Pitika were brought to Pug^n in 
the time of Buddhaghoso, they were afterwards lost; 
for the Maha, E^jaweng relates how, about six hundred 
and fifty years later, King Anoarahta, in order to reform 
religion, undertook a war to gain possession of these 
sacred writings. Kyaungdartt reigned twenty-five years, 
or until about a.d. 413. The mission of Buddhaghoso 
to Thahtun probably occurred several years later.^ Al- 
though these books probably were not known in Pug§,n 
until long after, still the simple precepts and practices 
of religion were no doubt taught and observed before 
the time of Buddhaghoso, but among the bulk of the 
people were mixed up with numerous superstitious 
rites inconsistent with pure Buddhism.^ 

ISTo prominent event is mentioned after this until Establishment 
the reign of Thenga E^ja. He had been a monk, but Burme^rera"' 
" became a man " — as the Burmese phrase is — married 
the queen of his predecessor, introduced many improve- 
ments in the administration, and arranged for the re- 
formation of the calendar. The common era which he 
established commenced in A.D. 639, on the day when 
the sun is supposed to enter the first sign of the zodiac. 

This era is now observed in Burma. The reforma- 
tion of the calendar was probably brought about by the 
assistance of Indian astronomers. The Burmese system ' 
of astronomy and method of computing time are essen- 
tially those of the Hindus.^ Nearly two centuries later, a.d. 924- 
it is related that in the reign of an usurper, Soa Eahan, a 
corruptworshipjCalledNag^ or dragon-worship, was intro- Dragon-worsbip. 

•' About A.D. 450, according to ^ It may be remarked that Ben- 
Rhys Davids, Buddhism, p. 231. tley, in an article in the "Asiatic 

^ I have seen in a remote part Researches," has from internal evi- 

of Burma an idol placed in a small denoe calculated the period when 

hollow temple in the midst of a the Brahma Siddanta was written 

secluded jangal, to which buffaloes or revised as a.d. 538, just one 

and other animals were sacrificed century before the existing Bur- 

by the surrounding Buddhist popu- mese era was adopted, 


duced. It is however probable that this worship had long 
existed but now became more prominent. . Soa EahSn 
caused the image of a dragon to be set up in a beautiful 
garden, and there it was worshipped. The priests of 
this worship, called Ari, were now supreme, and temples 
were built in which images of dragons were placed. To 
these offerings of food and spirituous liquors were made. 
The Ari priests lived in monasteries, but are represented 
as leading immoral lives. The Mah§, Eaj^weng states 
that the whole country was devoted to this wicked 
superstition. The king, Soa Eahan, was at length de- 
posed by Kwunhsoa Kyaung Phyu, the son of a former 
king, Tannet, but he, after a reign of twenty-two years, 
was deposed and retired to a monastery. Two sons of 
Soa Eah§,n then reigned successively, and the second 
of them was put to death by the son of Kwunhsoa 
Kyaung Phyu, who was consecrated king with the title 
A.D. loio. Anoarahta Soa.^ This king is regarded- as the great 

hero of the Burmese in historical times, and during 
ms reign evSiiLb bcuumu iiioi'e cletirly defined than 
Anoarahta, the The Maha Eajaweng represents AnoarahtS, Ts§,u as 
iuuna!]^ ° the restorer of the ancient power of the monarchy and 
the recoverer of much of the territory in the Upper 
Irawadi which had been conquered by the Shin from 
the Tagaung kings. He is also glorified as the great 
reform er of religion, who established Buddhism in the 
form m which it exists at the present time. He sent 
an envoy to India to a king who is called the Eiji of 
Wethili,^ to demand his daughter in marriage. The 
princess was escorted to Burma through Arakan, and 
after some hesitation consequent on scandalous reports, 
was received into the palace as one of the queens. Her 

1 This date is approximately cor- ^ V&isaia, the modern Besarh, 

reot, but some copies of the MahS twenty miles to the north of 

Rajiweng place the accession of Patna. 
Anoarahta. thirteen years earlier. 


son afterwards succeeded to the throne under the name 
of Ky§,ntsittha. King Anoaraht§, conquered what 
remained of the ancient kingdom of Thahtun. From 
this time the country of the delta and the adjoining 
districts to the east became subject to Burma, and con- 
tinued to be so, with intervals of partial independence, | 
for several centuries. 

It will therefore be suitable to interrupt here the 
narrative of Burmese history, and relate what is known 
of the early events of the kingdoms of Thahtun and 

( 24 ) 


Colonists from Southern India in the delta of the IrS,wadi — Country 
known as Suvarna Bhumi — Vincent on the commerce of the 
ancients — Suvarna Bhumi in Buddhist story — Buddhist mission- 
aries deputed to the country of the Ir^wadi — Traditions regard- 
ing the aborigines — First settlement from India by two hermits — 
City called Thahtun built — People called Mun or Talaing — Mon- 
goloid tribes civilised by Dravidians — City of Pegu built by colo- 
nists from Thahtto — Two brothers the founders — List of the 
kings of Pegu imperfect— Struggle between Brahmanists and 

Colonists from AccoEDiNG to traditions current among the people of 
intoeXiuor Pegu, Indian colonists from the country of the lower 
the irawadi. gourses of the rivers Kistna and G-odaveri, had at a 
remote time crossed the sea, and formed settlements in 
countryknown the delta of the Irawadi and on the adjoining coast. 
Bhumi/ In Buddhist legends the country they occupied became 

known as Suvarna Bhumi or " golden land." ^ A name 
resembling the Pali form of this designation, Sobana, 
occurs in Ptolemy, and is applied by Colonel Yule, in 
his remarks on the ancient map of India, to a promon- 
tory or place on the coast of the Gulf of Martaban. 
Lassen considers that the country named by that geo- 
grapher, Chryse, means approximately the present Pegu. 
Thahtun, the native name for the ancient capital, or 
more correctly Htawtun, has in the Mun language the 
same signification as the Sanscrit name. It is not 

' Manual of Buddhism, by Hardy, Gautama, by Bishop Bigandet. 
pp. 182, 183 ; Life or Legend of Kangoon, p. loi. 


necessary to conclude that this name was given to the 
country from gold being found in the soil. It is pro- 
bable that that metal was from early times brought 
from South-Western China down the river Ir^wadi and 
exported to India. The name, therefore, may have been 
given from that fact. It is only within the last twenty 
years that the import of gold bullion from Yunnan to 
the country of the Upper Irawadi has diminished ; but 
gold-leaf, which is in great demand in Burma, is an 
article still largely imported from the same country. 

This view receives support from the researches of Dr. Vincent on the 
Vincent,^ though that learned author does not appear ancients.'' 
to have recognised that Pegu was referred to in the 
authorities he quotes under the name Khruse. He con- 
sidered that the word was applied to the peninsula of 
Malacca. Prom his work, however, and from the geo- 
graphy of Indo-China, and later information derived 
from Indian sources, it appears most probable that the 
fleets which went to Khrus^ or the golden Chersonese, 
in the time of Ptolemy, came from Ceylon or the coast 
of Southern India to a port in Pegu, to which port 
there was a trade with China by inland navigation and 
overland journey. In Vincent's translation of the 
sequel to the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, occur the 
following passages : — " Immediately after leaving the 
Ganges there is an island in the ocean called Khrus^ 
or the golden isle, which lies directly under the rising 
sun, and at the extremity of the world towards the east. 
But still beyond this, immediately under the north, at 
a certain point where the exterior sea terminates, lies 
a city called Thina, not on the coast but inland, from 
which both the raw material and manufactured silk 
are brought by land." These words exactly suit the 
application of Khrus4 to the port now named, and no 
other place fulfils the conditions so completely. Eaw 

^ Vincent's Commerce and Navigation of the Ancients. See vol. ii. 
pp. 460, 507, &c. 



Suvama Bhumi 
in Buddhist 

Bnddhist mis- 
sionaries de- 
puted to tlie 
country of the 

silk constitutes to this day one of the principal articles 
imported from Yunn§,n by the Bamoa route into Upper 
Burma, and thence down the Ir^wadi. Nor is there 
any other route by which overland traffic between 
south-westei^i China and any point on the coast of the 
bay of Bengal could so readily be carried on. The city 
or country called Thina in the above passage may be 
accepted as representing Tsin or Sin, which was the 
name by which China was known in Burma during 
the early centuries of the Christian era. The identity 
of the Khrys^ of Ptolemy, of the Suvama Bhumi of 
the Buddhist legends, and of the city of Thahtun in 
Pegu, all having the same signification, appears nearly 

The earliest notice of Suvama Bhumi in Buddhist 
story is found in the jaltakas preserved in Ceylon.^ 
Therein it is related that when Goadama, after he had 
attained perfection, remained in contemplation in the 
Kiripalu forest or grove, two brothers, named Tapusa 
and Palikat, arrived with five hundred carts of me>r- 
chandise. They had come from Ukkalaba, a port in 
their native country, Suvarna Bhumi.^ They made an 
offering of honey to Buddha, and they entreated that 
he would bestow upon them something that they might 
honour as a relic. He therefore gave them eight hairs 
of his head, which they brought to their own country. 
These were enshrined in a pagoda, since known as the 
Shwe Dagun, near the modern town of Eangoon. 

At the time of the third great Buddhist synod at 
Pataliputra, about B.C. 241, when missions were sent to 
foreign countries to propagate religion and extirpate 
heresy, Sono and Uttaro were deputed to the golden " 
land.3 According to the Taking chronicles, they were 

1 Hardy's Man. of Bud., p. 182. ' Cunningham's Bilsa Topes, p. 

2 Ukkalaba was the name of a 116; Rhys David's Buddhism, p. 
town to the west of the present 227 ; Bishop Bigandet's Legend of 
town of Rangoon, and near a vil- the Burmese Buddha, p. 386. 
lage now called Twant^y. 


at first violently opposed ; but gradually they acquired 
influence; their preaching converted the people, and 
religion was revived. This reference in authentic 
Buddhist records to the religious condition of the 
people of Suvarna Bhumi in the third century B.C. 
shows the deep interest taken in India at that time in 
the affairs of the country. It supports the local tradi- 
tions as to the previous establishment of Indian colo- 
nists on the coast, and as to the existence of one or 
more important commercial ports at an early period. 

In native traditions the early inhabitants of the Traditions 
coast, especially near the mouth of the Salwin river, alorlginls. 
are represented as savages, called in Burmese Bilu, the 
equivalent of E^kshasa. They rejected all intercourse 
with civilised men ; and even Goadama himself, who, it 
is fabled, came to the country, was stoned and driven 
away by those whose descendants were afterwards dis- 
tinguished by their religious zeal. It may be concluded 
that the original inhabitants dwelling in the delta of 
j the Ir^wadi, belonged to the same race or family as the 
1 Mongoloid tribes in the upper course of the river, but 
that their ancestors had left the great hive on the 
north of the Himalaya mountains, from which both 
swarmed, at an earlier period than the progenitors of 
those upper tribes. The first settlement from India First settlement 
among these savage tribes is, in Talaing tradition; said tw™hermits5 
to have been made by the two sons of King Titha or 
Tissa, who reigned in the country of Karanaka and the 
city of Thubinna. The name Tissa, as here applied, 
cannot be historical^ and no doubt has been taken from 
the lists of kings of Ceylon in the Mahawanso, or has 
been suggested by that of the brother of Asoka. These 
sons of the king come to dwell as hermits in the savage 
land ; and, according to a wild legend, as if to connect 
the aborigines with the later ruling race, bring up a 
child born of a dragon on the sea-shore, who, when 
grown up, builds the city of Thahtun, and reigns as Thfiitun^uiit. 


Siha EajS,. Even this name has probably been taken 
from Sihala, the fabled father of Vijaya, first king of 
Ceylon. Nevertheless tradition which appears trust- 
worthy points to ancieiit Teling§,na as the original home 
of the colonists.^ The principal city or port of these 
colonists was Thahtun, situated on a tidal creek open- 
ing into the gulf of Martaban. Extensive remains of 
the ancient city still exist. But so altered are the 
present conditions of the sea and land, consequent on 
the gradual rise of the coast and bed of the gulf of 
Martaban in the long lapse of ages, that the creek is no 
longer approachable from the sea except in small boats 
and at great risk, by reason of the force of the tide. 
People called The people of Pcgu have long been known to the 
Munoi a_aing. g^pjj^ggg ^^(j ^q ^^]^ foreigners by the name Taking, 

which is obviously connected with the word Teling§,na ; 
but the name by which they call themselves is Mun or 
Mwun. The word Talaing was no doubt _origiii.a]ly 
applied only to the jjqlpnists from India, but is now, 
and long has been, used by foreigners to designate all 
those supposed to be descended from the original in- 
habitants, and those whose descent cannot be traced 
to races who have come to the country within the 
memory of man. The Mun language is now spoken 
(only by a small number of people in Pegu, though it 
survives among many thousands who fled in the last 
century into Siam. 
Mongoloid tribes It Is interesting to compare the difference of method, 
Dravidians. and to some oxtcut of result, in the two instances of 
Mongoloid tribes in the north and south of the basin 
of the Irawadi who received their civilisation from 
Indians of different races. In the north the tribes 
were civilised by Aryans ; in the south by Dravidians. 
In the former case a ruler came with followers to 

1 Telingana, Cunningham con- Ancient Geography of India, pp. 
aiders, corresponds with the Tri- 516, 517, and 519. 
kalinga, which includes Karniita. 


establish a dominion; the aborigiTies were subjected, 
and a name for the united tribes was adopted, which 
included the conquerors, and in time became permanent 
and national. In the south the original settlers were 
traders. Though they probably came to the coast with 
no other object, yet gradually they converted and 
civilised the savage tribes around them. They became 
rulers, but there was an absence of original purpose of 
consolidation, and the native name of the race they 
found, or some designation other than their own, has 
been continued in the language of the people. The 
term Talaing is not acknowledged in the Mun lan- 
guage, and the Dravidian settlers have become entirely 
absorbed in the indigenous ' and, except in ancient 
chronicles, obscured race. In the north, though the 
Aryans have left permanent marks of their early 
influence, the physical difficulty of the intervening 
country prevented continuous communication with the 
fatherland, and the fall of Buddhism in Gangetic India 
severed religious communion between the two regions. 
With southern India and Pegu constant intercourse 
was maintained by sea. By this route the Buddhist 
scriptures were brought to Pegu, and thence reached 
Burma; and the alphabet now used' by the Burmese 
people shows the same influence. 

Of the early history of Thahtun only vague tradition city of Pegu 
remains, though a list of fifty-nine kings, for the most colonists from 
part fabulous, who are said to have reigned there, is 
found in the Talaing chronicles. The first building of 
the city of Hans§,wadi, called also Pegu, is attributed, 
and probably correctly, to a company of people pro- 
ceeding from Thahtun. In the sixth century of the 
Christian era two sons of the reigning king, named 
Thamala and Wimala, who, on account of a prejudice 
at^ainst their mother, had been excluded from suc- 
cession to the throne, collected people from the sur- 
rounding country, and going towards the north-west, 


'^-D. 573- selected a site whereon to build a city. The sacred or 
classic name given to the city was Hanslwadi, from a 
legend of sacred geese, or, indeed, of the great teacher 
himself in that birth-form, having lived on the spot 
when it was a sandbank just appearing above the sea. 
The common name of the city was Bago or Pegu, which 
was never changed ; but at a later period the country 
of the delta was called Eamanya, from an inclination 
to Hinduism which appeared in after times. In the 
Eajawanso of Ceylon the name is rendered Arramana. 
diTfoind/r? -^^ ^^ Other instances in Indo-Chinese history, two 
brothers are represented as sharing in the foundation 
of the citj^ The original city was probably a short 
distance to the east of that included within the present 
rampart, which was only constructed in the sixteenth 
century. Thamala, the elder brother, reigned first. 
After twelve years he was killed by the younger, 
Wimala, who then became king. After his death the 
son of Thamala succeeded to the throne, with the title 
of K^tha KummS,. This monarchy gradually esta- 
blished its power over the whole delta and eastward to 
the Salwin river.^ The Burmese kingdom of Thar^k- 
hettarS, (Prome) was probably overthrown by the 
Talaings of Thahtun long before Pegu was founded. 
There is no distinct record of this in Burmese history ; 
it may have been mentioned in the ancient Talaing 
chronicles, but they were carefully destroyed by the 
conquerors of Pegu. After the building of the new 
city the descendants of the ancient kings appear to 
have remained unmolested in Thahtun, but no mention 
is made of the extent of country over which they ruled. 
Probably their territory was little more than the boun- 
dary of the city wall. But from the destruction of the 

^ The names Wimala and Tha- vious resemblance in this story to 

mala may be traced in the lists that of the two brothers who first 

of Chalukya kings and the kings reigned at Prome. 
of Vijayanaga, There is an ob- 


ancient books, and from the loss of independence 
having crushed the spirit of the people, it appears now 
impossible to trace events in Taking history during 
several centuries. This difficulty has been felt by 
every inquirer into the history of Pegu.^ 

In the appendix to this volume will be found a list List of the 
of the first dynasty of the kings of Pegu as entered in taTp^rfeV"'^ 
the Taking chronicles. But that dynasty extends only 
to the year a.d. 781, when the reign of king Titha or 
Tissa came to a close. From that time until the con- 
quest of Pegu by AnoarahtS,, that is, for about two 
hundred and sixty-nine years, no events are recorded 
in the Taking annals. The conquest by the king of 
Pug§,n is hot to be found therein. From indications 
in the Taking annals as to the reigns of King Tissa 
and his predecessor, it appears probable that for a 
long period the country was disturbed by religious struggle be- 
struggles, Brahmanical and Buddhist votaries con- SLS^Ind" 
tending for the mastery. Later chronicles have been '^'^'^'^'^'^• 
unwilling to refer to the troubles and degradation of 
their country caused by heretical disturbance and 
foreign rule, so that the course of events can only be 
conjectured. Coins or medals bearing Hindu symbols 
which have been found, and which no doubt were 
struck in Pegu, probably belong to this period, and lerid 
support to the conclusion as to events which the native 
chroniclers have obscured or suppressed.^ Excepting a 
few vague sentences, no notice is taken in the Taking 
chronicles of the conquest by Anoarahtl Thus the 
native annals of Pegu, from the period when pure 
Buddhism was for a time restored under King Tissa, 

1 See Essay on the Pegti Pa- systems having happened in Ara- 

goda, by Captain H. A. Browne, kan may be traced in the chronicles 

Journal Asiatic Soc. of Bengal, of that country. The hints given 

No. 2, for 1867. in the chronicles are also supported 

^ Indications of similar alterna- by coins, 
tions in the prevalence of religious 


until the fair of the Pug§,n monarchy, near the close of 
the thirteenth century, a period of about 500 years, are 
almost a blank. 

Note on supposed reference to Pegu by Hiouen Thsang. 

The Chinese pilgrim of the seventh century, when at Sama- 
tata, -which is identified with the delta of the Ganges, or more 
especially Eastern Bengal, mentions the names of countries to the 
east of that region. The first country is said to be to the north- 
east, and the name has, from the Chinese characters or syllables, 
been transliterated into Qrichatra, and applied to Silhet. If, 
however, we might be allowed to conjecture, that for north-east 
from Samatata south-east was intended, then Crichatra, the exact 
name of Srikhetra, or the ancient city of Burmese history, near 
Prome, will fulfil the conditions of the text. And the road to it 
by land from Eastern Bengal, first along the sea-coast and then 
over mountains into the valley of the Ir&wadi, exactly corresponds 
with the travelling directions given by the Chinese pilgrim. 

The next place mentioned beyond to the south-east is the king- 
dom of Kamalanka. If it were possible here to suppose that h has 
been written or misprinted in Europe for an r, in that case Rama- 
lanka would apply to the delta of the IrSwadi, which was known as 
ESmanya at the time the pilgrim was in India. In fact, the name 
of Rama has been applied to several places on the Burmese coast, 
— the island of E&mree, for instance, and K&mapura, the classic 
name for Moulmein. There was also Ramanagar, not far from 
Rangoon. Further east, the pilgrim states, is the kingdom of 
Tolopoti. This is rendered Dwarawati by M. Julien. Dwara- 
wati is the classic name of the town and district of Sandoway in 
Southern Arakan ; but in Burmese history it is applied to more 
than one countiy, and, among others, to Siam. In the instance 
now in question, Siam would agree with the direction indicated 
by the Chinese pilgrim, from Samatata to Srikhetra, thence to 
Ramalanka or Pegu, and thence east to Dwarawati or Siam. Be- 
yond that, still east, Tsanapura is not recognisable ; but still 
farther east, Mahdchampa, mentioned by the pilgrim, represents, 
beyond doubt, the ancient kingdom of Cambodia. See paper by 
Mr. James Fergusson in "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Si'netVj" 
vol. vi., N.S., 1873. 

( 33 ) 


PUGAN MONARCHY— {Continued). 

Religious reform by AuoarahtS— Invades Pegu and captures Thahtun 
— Capture of Hansawadi not mentioned — Anoarahtl, marches to 
China — Search for a, relic at TharSkhettara— Extension of Bur- 
mese dominion on west and north— Son of Anoarahta succeeds— 
An Indian -prince cornea to Pug^n— Buddhist temple— An^nda 
built— Reign of Alaungslthu— King murdered. 

Anoarahta had a deep dislike to the ISTaga or dragon- Religious re- 
worship which prevailed in his country. The priests Siul! "^ ''''"'" 
of this religion, who were called Art, lived in monas- 
teries like Buddhist monks, but their practices resem- 
bled those attributed to the votaries of the sect of 
V§,mach§,ris in Bengal. There is no information in the 
Burmese chronicles regarding the introduction of this 
worship, which led to the wicked deeds of which the Ari 
priests are accused. Naga- worship had in earlier times 
prevailed in Northern India. The Chinese pilgrim 
Fa Hian found that offerings were made to a dragon at 
Samkassa, in recognition of his supposed beneficence 
in causing gentle showers to fall upon the fields.^ In 
after times, in the sixth century, as pure doctrine died 
away, the Tantra system — a mixture of magic and 
witchcraft and Siva-worship — was in the Punjab in- 
corporated into the corrupted Buddhism.^ Prom some 
external influence which has not been explained, a - 
similar change happened in Burma. The system ex- 
cited the indignation and the horror of Anoarahta. He 

^ Fa Hian, chap. xvii. 

2 Buddhism, by T. W. Rhys Davids, p. 208. 



yearned for a full revelation of the true doctrine, which 
he knew only by imperfect report. At length a great 
teacher, called in the Mah§, E^j§,weng, Arah^ji^who 
had attained the blessed state of a Eab^nda or Arah§,t, 
arrived at the Burmese capital. He had come from 
Thahtun. Having heard of the absence of all true 
religion in Pugan, he came there with the sincere zeal 
of a missionary. He was invited to appear before the 
king, to whom he preached the law of Buddha. Anoa- 
rahtEi was at once converted. The false Aris were 
expelled from their monasteries and stripped of their 
robes; ordained orthodox Eah§,ns were invited from 
Thahtun, and true religion was established. 
The king in- The king now desired to possess the Buddhist Scrip- 

vades Pegu and i m • -j t tt t ji j_i 

captures the tures, ths Tripitaka. He knew that those precious 
' volumes existed at Thahtun. He sent an ambassador 
of high rank to Manuha, the king of that city, to ask 
for a copy of the holy books. The king answered 
haughtily . that he would give nothing. AnoarahtS,, 
with a sudden fierceness altogether opposed to the 
spirit of the religion which he had embraced, deter- 
mined to punish what he deemed an affront. He 
collected a large army and went down the Ir^wadi. 
The king of Thahtun had no means of meeting the 
invader in the field, but the city was well defended by 
a wall. After a long siege the citizens were reduced by 
famine and the city was surrendered. King Manuha, 
his wives and children, were carried away captive to 
Pug§,n. The city was utterly destroyed. Nobles and 
artificers, holy relics and sacred books, golden images 
and treasures of all kinds were carried off; and fr om 
that-^bim-erthE!— country of - E£giL_hficamja..f or more than 
twcLneniuFies subJ.eet-t©-Burma. As a fit sequence to 
such a war, the unhappy Manuha, his whole family, 
and the high-born captives were thrust down to the 
lowest depth of woe by being made pagoda slaves. 
Although in the Burmese chronicles the conquest of 


Thahtun and of the country of Pegu are fully described, capture of iun- 

... • 1 f 1 ■ 1. TT sAwadi not men- 

nothing IS said of the occupation of the city of Han- tioned in Bm-- 
s§,wadi, the later capital. It has already been men- 
tioned that this event is not directly narrated in the 
fragmentary Taking chronicle now existing. All that 
is said of the conquest is contained in a few brief sen- 
tences of lamentation for the fall of the kingdom to hate- 
ful foreigners. There appears only one probable explana- 
tion of the omission in the Burmese history of the capture 
of the city of Pegu. The high destinies of the city had, 
according to legends which were believed to be divinely 
inspired truths, been foretold by Goadama himself; and 
miraculous events at the first building of the city 
were believed to have foreshadowed its permanent im- 
munity from conquest and the rule of foreigners. The 
authors of the Burmese chronicle appear to have shrunk 
from deliberately setting forth events, which falsified a 
prediction, the authenticity of which they were not 
prepared to deny ; and while silent as to the fate of 
the city of Pegu, they apparently settled down to the 
belief that, having been founded by a colony from 
Thahtun, its fortunes were to be counted as being in- 
cluded in those of the mother city, and that no special 
mention of its fall was required. 

AnoarahtS,, prompted no less by ambition than bv ^"'""raiita 

. , . . *^ marclaes to 

religious zeal, not satisfied with the relics which he ci^i"^- 
had obtained in Thahtiin, desired to possess the holy 
tooth said to be preserved in China.^ He marched 
with an army, as an escort of honour, to that country, 
or to a province of it called Gandalartt. That name, 
which in Indian Buddhist works is given to the district 
round the modern Peshawar, is in the Burmese chronicle 
applied to a part of Yunnan. The Emperor of China 

■• A tooth of Buddha, it is stated Buddha is now shown in a monas- 

in Chinese annals, was brought tery at Fuchau, See note in Yule's 

to China in A.D. 530 by a Persian Marco Polo, vol. ii. p. 266. 
ambassador. A supposed tooth of 


at first took no notice of the king. At length they 
had a friendly meeting. Anoaraht^ failed to obtain 
the relic he sought, but brought away a golden image 
which had been sanctified by direct contact with the 
holy tooth. About this time the state of affairs in 
Yunnan admitted of a visit being made by the Burmese 
king to the local ruler. J n a.d. 86 i. the prince of 
ISTanchao or Yunn§,n cast off his allegiance to the Em- 
peror of China. The Tang dynasty was too weak to 
subdue the rebel, and it was only under the Sung 
dynasty that the empire was reunited. But the Em- 
peror Jintsong, who died A.D. 1063, had not apparently 
even then established effective authority in Yunnan, 
and it was in his reign that AnoarahtS, went to Yun- 
n§,n.^ On his return to his own kingdom, while pass- 
ing through the Sh^n state of Moa, he married the 
daughter of the chief ; and the romantic events which 
led to the marriage, together with the trials through 
which the bride passed, and her final triumph over the 
plots of jealous rivals, are represented in a drama 
which is one of the most popular on the Burmese 
stage. But one incident of this progress brought 
trouble to Anoaraht§,'s successor in long after years. 
Some presents of golden Vessels which he made to the 
Emperor were received as tribute offerings to his 
superior, and were made the ground of demand for 
similar gifts by the Mongolian conqueror Kublaikhan. 
Search for a rejiy^' Disappointed in his search for a relic in China, 
taia. AnoarahtS, sought for one elsewhere. There was at 

this time a general belief that a forehead bone relic of 
Buddha was enshrined in a pagoda built at Tharekhet- 
tarS, by King Dwuttabaung. Anoaraht^ caused the 
pagoda to be pulled down, and intended that the relic 
should be deposited in the Shw^zigun pagoda which 
was building at Pugan. It is however stated that, 
either in consequence of the sin he had committed in 
' Boulger's China, vol. i. pp. 329, 397. 


destroying the original pagoda, or from some other 
hidden cause, the holy relic disappeared. He then sent 
to Ceylon to endeavour to obtain the famous tooth- 
relic enshrined there ; but he was forced to be contented 
with what is represented as a miraculous emanation or 
mysterious growth of homogeneous substance from the 
holy tooth. This representative of the original was 
brought with great ceremony to PugS,n, and was de- 
posited in a suitable building at the gate of the palace.^ 

Anoaraht§, is said to have made a progress through Extension of 

i'L , . -,.,.. o 1 Burmese donii- 

tne western portion of his dominions as far as Bengal, nion west and 
The Arakanese chronicle relates that he invaded that""" 
country, and he no doubt exacted from the king a pro- 
mise of tribute. But it does not appear that payment 
was long made. Nearer home his power was more 
firmly established. The Shan dominion in the north, 
which had endured for several centuries, and which is 
called in the chronicle preserved in Manipur, the king- 
dom of Pong, was broken by the conquests of Anoa- 
rahta. Individual states of Sh§,n chiefs in the Upper 
Irawadi, still retained independent power; but from this 
time those to the south of Bamoa, were more or less 
subordinate to the Burmese monarchy. In the country 
north of Bamoa there were several Sh§,n chiefs, among 
whom there was a frequent change of relative rank and 
power, according to their own development, and the 
strength or weakness of each sovereign of Burma. 

The reign of AnoarahtS, came to an end about the 
middle of the eleventh century. Different copies of 
Burmese chronicles are not in accord as to the date 
when he ascended the throne. The difference may have 
arisen from his becoming king during the lifetime of his 
father, a solitary instance of such supersession in Bur- 
mese history. He is the great hero of the Burmese people. / 

Anoarahta was succeeded by his son Soalii. He 
appointed his foster-brother, Nga Ram^n Khan, gover- 

^ A somewhat similar mission to Ceylon, with a like result, oc- 
curred about twenty years ago. 

3on of Anoa- 

An Indi.nn 
prince comes 


$ <fi^ nor of Pegu. The governor not only ungratefully re- 
^ "v belled against his king and benefactor, but marched 

^ f, •' with an army against Pug^n. Soalii was killed in 
^ battle, but his brother Kyansittha, who succeeded to the 

throne, defeated and killed the rebel. 

The mother of Kyansittha was said to have been a 
fo pugan. daughter of the king of Vaisali in Tirhfit. Not long 
after KyansitthS, came to the throne, there appeared at 
Pug^n an Indian prince, who is styled in the Mah^ 
Eaj^weng the son of the king of Palikkar^.^ Tlie prince 
desired to marry the daughter of KyansitthS,, but by the 
advice of the nobles this alliance was publicly dis- 
allowed, lest the country should become kuld or foreign. 
But a strange story is told as the sequel of this adven- 
ture. The Indian prince from chagrin committed sui- 
cide. The daughter of Kyansittha,, whom he had 
desired to marry, gave birth to a son, and notwith- 
standing the refusal to celebrate the proposed marriage, 
the king caused the child to be consecrated by the 
ceremony of hithiha, as if he were to be forthwith 
acknowledged as king. It is related in the history of 
Ceylon,^ that Buddhism had entirely decayed in that 
island during the Malabar domination, and that when 
the kingdom was recovered by Wijayo Bahu, in a.d. 
1 07 1, there were not to be found in the whole island 
five of the superior order of Eah§,ns called " tirunansis." 
An embassy was therefore sent to Arramana, as Pegu is 
called in the Mahlwanso. This was in the reign of 
Kyansittha,, but no mention is made of this embassy in 
the Burmese chronicle. There is, however, architec- 

^ This word as used in the Bur- jendra L^la Mitra on P^la Rjljas, 

mese history may represent the Journal A. S. of Bengal, vol. xlvii., 

title of a king or the name of a N.S. , p. 384. 

country. In either case it refers ^ See Emerson Tennent's Cey- 

to a part of Bengal where Buddha Ion, vol. i. p. 406. Burma has 

was worshipped. Whether the preserved books which were lost 

word has any connection with the in Ceylon. Rhys Davids, in his 

Balharl, of the Arab voyagers, or paper on Ceylon coins, observes : 

with the Pala kings who still " All the Ceylon MSS. of the Di- 

reigned in Bengal in the eleventh pavansa are derived, mediately or 

century, is uncertain. See Dr. Ra- iinmediately, from Burma." 


tural and sculptural evidence at PugS,n, of communica- 
tion with Southern India, if not with Ceylon. The 
magnificent temple An§,nda was built by this king. Buddusttem- 
Though the earliest of the great temples which still buut. 
exist amidst the ruined city, it is, as observed by Colo- 
nel Yule, in some respects the most remarkable.^ They 
all suggest, but this perhaps above them all suggests, 
strange memories of the churches of southern Catholic 
Europe. The ground-plan is a perfect Greek cross. 
Along the massive walls of the dim and lofty vaulted 
corridors, disposed in niches, are sculptured groups of 
figures on stone slabs, illustrating events in the life of 
Goadama Buddha. These figures tell of a sculptor 
from Southern India, especially by the arrangement 
and ornaments of the hair in the female figures. Of 
the four great temples at Pugan, Colonel Yule remarks 
that there is in them an actual sublimity of architec- 
tural efiect which excites wonder, almost awe. There 
is no trace as to the source from whence the designs 
for these temples were derived. Much of their orna- 
mental detail has been found in buildings on the conti- 
nent of India and in Ceylon. No timber is used in any 
part of them. Mr. James Fergusson remarks on the 
almost universal use in them of the pointed arch, not 
only in the openings, but in the vaulted coverings of 
the passages, and finds that in no other country of Asia, 
from the Euphrates to the Ganges, is the existence of 
such form, in buildings of the period to which they be- 
long, to be met with. 1 

Kvansittha was succeeded by his grandson, who took Lign of 
the title of Alaungsithu. Early in his reign he built I\d, 1085 
the Shw^ku temple at Pugan. He visited the western 
province of his dominions, travelling through Arakan to 
the adjoining part of Bengal. He made many improve- 
ments in the administration of the law, and he regulated 
weights and measures. During the reign of his grand- 

1 See Yule's Embassy to Ava, pp. 36, 39, for a detailed descrip- 
tion of this temple. 


father, the heir to Meng Bilii, the king of Arakan, 
named Mengr^ Baya, whose father had been killed by 
a rebel, came to Pug^n as a refugee. He lived there 
for many years, and dying, left a son, who is called in 
the chronicles Lety§,mengn§,n. Alaungstthu, yielding 
to the entreaties of this prince, determined to establish 
him in the kingdom of his ancestors. The prince 
marched with a large army, which, in the boastful 
words of an old Burmese ballad, numbered one hundred 
thousand Pyiis and one hundred thousand Takings. 
The expedition met with no opposition, and the prince 
was placed on the throne, according to the Arakanese 
chronicle, in A.D. 1103.^ Alaungsithu caused the Bud- 
dhist temple at GayS, to be repaired. He maintained 
communication with the Palikkara king whose daugh- 
ter he married. When he became old he was much 
troubled by the disobedience of his sons. His eldest 
son, Maung Sheng Soa, was sent to govern the country 
of the Upper Ir§,wadi. He settled near the spot where 
the city of Amarapiira was afterwards built, and first 
commenced the excavation and embankment of the 
/great lake now called Aungpengl^. The king's second 
(son remained at the capital. Impatient to gain the 
King murderedJ throne, he hesitated not to accomplish his object by 
parricide. The aged king was carried to the temple he 
had built, and there was smothered under a heap of 
cloth. He reigned for seventy-five years. 

At this period, when Arakan had been brought into 
close connection with the Pugin monarchy, the early 
history of that country as told ''by its own chroniclers 

will be related. 


' A stone inscription in the Bur- form the date assigned to that re- 
mese language exists at Buddha paration are rather uncertain, but 
Gaya, of which a facsimile is given in all probability represent 467 = 
in vol. XX. of the "Asiatic Re- a.d. 1 105. The inscription itself 
searches." It records frequent re- was carved in 668 = a.d. 1306, 
parations of the temple at that and recapitulates the several re- 
place, and also that by LetyS- parations to the temple in former 
mengnSn, who is called therein years. 
Pytitathinmeng. The figures which 

( 41 ) 



Native name Rakhaing — Arakanese tradition of the early kings — 
Arrival of Kan R^jagyl from the country of the Ir^wadi — Bud- 
dhism predominant until the eighth century — Chandra dynasty — 
Invasion by the Sh^n — Arakan tributary to the king of Pugan — 
Burmese inscription at Gay§.. 

The country known in Europe as Arakan extends for Native name 
350 miles along the eastern shore of the bay of ^'''^'^*'°8- 
Bengal. It is called by the natives Eakhaingpyi, or 
land of the Rakhaing. The same word in the Pali 
form, Yakkho, and also Raksha, is applied to beings, 
some good and some bad, who have their abode on 
Mount Meru, and are guards round the mansion of 
Sekra or Indra. It was given to the aborigines of 
Ceylon by their Buddhist conquerors.^ The term 
appears to be applied by Indian Aryans to people 
of Dravidian and Mongolian race before conversion to 
Buddhism. Among the Arakanese of the present time, 
the word means a monster of the ogre sort, in the ver- 
nacular Bilu, which, it has already been seen, is applied 
in the history of Pegu to the wild inhabitants of the 
country while still unconverted. The people of Arakan 
have not been ashamed to retain the name for them- 
selves as dwellers in Eakhaing-land, but they claim 
to be by descent Mr^mma, and the elder branch of 
that family. They no doubt are descendants from > 

1 Emerson Tennent's Ceylon, vol. i. p. 331 ; Hardy's Manual of 
Buddhism, pp. 44, 47, 56. , 


ancestors belonging to Mongoloid tribes, closely akin 
to those from whom sprung- the Burmese of the Upper 
Ir§,wadi. Their language is the same, with a few 
dialectical differences, though the pronunciation as 
spoken frequently renders it unintelligible to a modern 

In an interesting paper on the oldest records of the 
sea-route to China from Western Asia by Colonel 
Yule,^ that author identifies the country named Argyr^ 
in Ptolemy with Arakan, the name being supposed to 
be derived from silver mines existing there. This name 
may be a corruption of the native name Eakhaing, 
from which the modern European form, Arakan, is 
derived. The word Eakhaing for the country is un- 
doubtedly ancient, and would have been heard by the 
voyagers from whom Ptolemy derived his information. 
There is no tradition or record of silver having ever been 
found in Arakan. In the neighbourhood of Martaban 
and Maulmein argentiferous galena ore is plentiful. 
In some spots the yield of silver has been nineteen 
ounces of silver per ton of lead.^ 
Arakanese The chrouicles of Arakan open with describing the 

tradition of the „, uj. .1 , n i ^ i 

early kings. emergence or the world from the water or a deluge, and 
the appearance thereon of the beings who were the 
progenitors, of the human race. The first kings reigned 
in Ban§,ras, and to a son of one of these kings Arakan 
was allotted. He reigned in a city called E§,mawati, 
supposed to be near the present town of Sandoway, 
though that was afterwards the classic name of the 
island now known as Eambyi, corrupted by Indians and 
Europeans to Eamrt. This position assigned to the 
first capital supports the native tradition of the 
K&,nr§.n tribe having migrated from the country of 
the Ir§,wadi to the southern part of Arakan,* though 

1 Proceedings of the Royal Geo- port, quoted in Gazetteer of 

graphical Society for November British Burmah, vol. i. p. 64. 
1S82. " See chapter i. 

'' See Theobald's geological re- 


the story of a king coming from Ban§,ras is a fiction 
invented to connect the rulers of Arakan with the 
kings of that famous city. In after ages Sandoway 
fell to ten brothers, who because of their tyranny were 
expelled by the people and killed. Their sister sur- 
vived, and went north to the country of Arakan 
proper with a Brahman, to whom she was married. 
The Brahman became king of Arakan ; but it was not 
from this pair that the Arakanese chroniclers chose 'to 
derive the royal race which they still reverence as their 
ancient kings. A strange legend tells how a wild doe 
in the forest brought forth a human child in the 
country of the upper Kulad§,n, the principal river 
of northern Arakan. A chief of the Mro or Mru 
tribe, a remnant of which still exists, was out 
hunting; he found the new-born boy, and carried 
him home. The boy was brought up among the Mni 
tribe, and is called Maiayo, a name which has probably 
been formed by the chroniclers from M§,ram§,, the Ara- 
kanese form of Mr§,inma, and yo or aro — race. When 
grown up he married a daughter of the Mrii chief, and 
eventually became king of Arakan. He then married 
a female descendant of the Brahman king, and built 
the capital city called Dhinyawati, which became the 
classic name of the country. The whole legend may 
be accepted as the expression of the traditions of kin- 
ship between the Arakanese and the Mongoloid tribes 
who still dwell in the hills on the borders ; and as a 
rude expression of connection with the princes of the 
Indian dynasty who settled in the Upper Mwadi, 
though there is a confusion in the chronology of one 
legend with the other. 

The time when Marayo became king is by the Ara- ArriTai of Kan 
kanese chroniclers placed at an extravagantly remote thecountryof 
era — 2666 B.C. The dynasty he founded is represented 
as having lasted for eighteen hundred and thirty-three 
years. A rebellion then broke out, and the queen of the 


last king retired to a mountain with her two daughters. 
About this time K^n E§,jagyi, a Kshatriya, who had 
been obliged to relinquish the kingdom of Tagaung 
to his younger brother/ arrived in Northern Arakan, 
and established himself with his followers on the high 
mountain called Kyaukp^ndaung. The queen of the 
last king of the Marayo dynasty joined him there, and 
he married her two daughters. The summit of Kyauk- 
p§,ndaung is a gently undulating plateau several miles 
in extent. Though in the midst of a mountain region 
inhabited by rude tribes, recent exploration has dis- 
covered traces that it was once occupied by a civilised 
race. Palm and other trees, which are not natural pro- 
ducts of the surrounding jangal, are found there. The 
remains of pagodas also exist, and these, though com- 
paratively modern, with the other evidences of former 
habitation in this secluded spot, give support to the 
belief of its having been the resting-place of the race 
which at a remote period gave kings to Arakan. After 
some years Kan E^j§,gyi left the mountain and occu- 
pied the capital city in the lowlands, supposed to be on 
the site of the city now known as " Eakhaingmyu." 
The Arakanese chroniclers relate that sixty-two kings of 
the race of Kan E§.J£lgyl reigned in succession through- 
out seventeen hundred and eighty-two years. It is 
impossible, during this long period, to discern in the 
chronicles any event which may be accepted as histo- 
rical. In the year A.D. 146 a king called Chanda-Surya 
succeeded to the throne. In his reign a metal image 
of Buddha was cast, and so famous did it become, that 
miraculous powers were attributed to it for ages after- 
wards. This image was carried away by the Burmese 
when they conquered Arakan in a.d. 1784. It is now 
in a temple to the north of Amarapura, and is an 
object of fervent devotion. It is probable that in the 

1 See chapter i. for the story as told in the Mah2, E.S,iSweng of 


reign of Chanda-Surya, Buddhism was more distinctly- 
established than heretofore, and images of Buddha may 
then have been introduced for the first time. 

As far as can'be gathered from the Arakanese chron- Buddhism pre- 

• T -1 -P, , , , . . . dominant until 

icles, the Buddhist religion remained predommant m the eighth cen- 
the country until the eighth century of the Christian 
era. A revolution then occurred during the reign of 
the fifty-third king in lineal descent from Kkn Rljagyi. 
The tumult which arose is explained as resulting from 
the mysterious decay of the fortune, or good influence, 
of the ancient capital. The astrologers declared that a 
change of site was necessary. The king, Mah§, Taing chandra 
Ch§,ndra, therefore left his palace, the whole of the ^'""'■^• 
people following, and settled at a place where a new 
capital, called Weth§,li, after the city of Vaisali in 
Tirhut, was built. At that city nine kings reigned in 
succession bearing the surname of Chandra. Their 
reigns lasted for one hundred and sixty-nine years, ad- 788 to a.d. 
From coins still existing, and which are attributed to 
the kings of this dynasty, coupled with obscure refer- 
ences to their acts in the chronicles of Arakan, it 
appears probable that they held Brahmanical doctrines. 
No clue is given in the chronicles as to where these 
kings came from. They appear to have been foreigners, 
and it is possible that they were connected with the 
dynasty which reigned in Eastern Bengal known as the 
Sena Eajg,s, and that the period of their rule in Arakan 
has been antedated.^ 

This dynasty was succeeded, or rather temporarily 
displaced, by a chief of the Mro tribe, whose reign, 
with that of his nephew, lasted for thirty-six years. A 
descendant of the Cliindra dynasty then came to the 
throne, and a new site was occupied for the capital ; 
but from the troubles which soon after arose it was 

1 See paper by Dr. Kajendra Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. 
Lala Mitra in the Journal of the xlvii. p. 384. 



Invasion by the 


Arakan tribu- 
tary to king of 

Burmese in- 
scription at 

The Shans from the Upper Ir§,\vadi now invaded 
Arakan, and occupied it for eighteen years. They 
behaved like cruel conquerors, robbed the people, and 
plundered the temples of the valuable offerings therein. 
When they retired, Anoaraht^, the great king of Pug^n, 
invaded the country, desiring to obtain the famous 
image of Buddha. By divine interposition, the Ara- 
kanese chronicle remarks, he was persuaded to retire 
without carrying away what was regarded as the pro- 
tector of the kingdom.! j^ fg-^ years later a descendant 
of the Chandra dynasty was, with the assistance of 
Anoarahta, placed on the throne. The capital was 
established at PingtsS,, and Arakan became tributary 
to the king of Pug^n. It remained so for sixty years, 
when the reigning king, Meng Bilu, was killed by a 
noble who usurped the throne. The heir-apparent, 
Mengrebaya, fled with his wife to Pug§,n, where he 
was received by King KyansitthL For twenty-five 
years the royal family remained in exile. Mengrebaya 
had a son born to him, known in history as Letya- 
mengnkn. The father having died, the reigning king 
of Pug§,n, Alaungsiihu, determined to place the son on 
the throne of Arakan. According to popular tradition 
handed down in song, an army of 100,000 Pyus and 
100,000 Talaing was sent by sea and land to Arakan 
at the close of the rainy season. The usurper offered a 
stout resistance, and it was not until the following year 
that the restoration was effected. An inscription in the 
Burmese language on a stone slab exists at Buddha 
Gaya, in which is recorded the repairment of the temple 
there by Lety§,mengn§,n (who is styled "The lord. of 
one hundred thousand Pyus"), in fulfilment of his 
engagement to the king of Pugan.^ This engagement 

^ In the Arakanese history this 
invasion is placed in the year a.d. 
995. In some copies of the Bur- 
mese Maha RajSweng, the year 
of Anoarahta's accession to the 

throne is placed fifteen years later 
than that date. 

^ See Asiatic Researches, vol. 
XX. Also Buddha G-aya, by Ra- 
jendra Laia Mitra, LL.U., p. 208. 


is not recorded in the chronicles either of Burma or of 
Arakan, and is only known from the inscription ; but 
the facts related in the chronicles are evidently implied 
in the terms of the inscription. 

Coin with Hindu symbols, struck iu Arakan about the eighth century a. d. 

Note on the name Mag or Maga applied to the Arakanese by the 
people of Bengal. 

The Rakhaing people of Mongoloid race do not know this 
term. It is given to them by the people of Bengal, and also to a 
class of people now found mostly in ihe district of Chittagong, 
who call themselves Eajbausi. The latter claim to be of the same 
race as one dynasty of the kings of Arakan, and hence the name 
they have themselves assumed. They are Buddhists in religion ; 
their language now is Bengali of the Chittagong dialect; and they 
have a distinctive physiognomy, but it is not Mongolian. Their 
number in the Chittagong district, by the census of 1870-71, was 
10,852 (Hunter's " Bengal," vol. vi. p. 250). A few are found in 
the district of Akyab. I was formerly of opinion that these 
people were a mixed race, the descendants of Arakanese, who, 
when their kings held Chittagong during the seventeenth cen- 
tury, had married Bengali wives. Further inquiry and consi- 
deration have led me to a different conclusion. I now think 
it most probable that the self-styled Rajbansi descend from immi- 
grants into Arakan from !M&gada, and that the name given to 
them by the people of Bengal correctly designates their race or 
the country from which they came. It is very probable that one 
of the foreign dynasties of Arakan came from Southern Bihar, 
though, from modern jealousy of foreigners, the fact has been 
concealed by Arakanese chroniclers. The fcirmer existence in 
Southern Bihar of princes having the race name of Maga is an 


■undoubted fact. The researches of Dr. Prancis Buchanan, and 
later inquiries instituted by Dr. W. W. Hunter, show that the 
kings of Magada reigned at Raj%riha in the modern district of 
Patna. They were Buddhists, and that a dynasty of this race 
reigned in Arakan may be considered to be true. The name 
E&jbansi has no doubt been adopted by the remnant of the 
tribe in later times, from a desire to assert their importance as 
belonging to the same race as the kings of Arakan. This term 
has been adopted in the district of Rangpur by the Chan dalas 
and other low castes, who had not the reasonable claim to it pos- 
sessed by the class now under consideration. The name Maga 
having been extended to the whole of the Arakanese people, who 
are Mongoloid in race, is an ethnological error which has caused 
confusion among European writers upon this subject. But this 
error does not extinguish the fact of people descended from an 
Aryan race called Maga, who migrated from Bihar, being still in 
existence in Arakan and the adjoining district of Chittagaon. 
(See " Eastern India," by Montgomery Martin, from the papers of 
Francis Buchanan, vol. i. pp. 22 to 29; vol. ii. pp. 18, 114, &c. 
Also Hunter's " Statistical Account of Bengal," vol. xi. pp. 41, 79.) 

( 49 ) 


PUGAN MONARCHY— (io its e7td). 

Narathu succeeds to the throne — His cruelty — Builds a great temple 
— Killed by foreigners — King Narabadisithu — Builds temples — 
King of Ceylon invades Pegu — Boadi temple built — TarAkpye- 
meng builds a costly pagoda — Kebellion in Martaban — Mongol 
armies in China — Mongol emperor demands tribute from Burma 
— Burmese army defeated — Mongol army occupies Pugstn — Kyo- 
aswa, last king of the PugSn dynasty. 

On the death of Alaungstthu, his younger son, ISTarathu, Narathu snc- 
at once took possession of the palace. The elder son, throne. 
Meng Shengsoa, came down the river from the seat of 
his government to assert his right to the throne. Un- 
suspicious of treachery, he reached Pug&n with only 
one boat and a few attendants. He was met at the 
landing-place by his brother, who behaved with due 
deference and escorted him to the palace with great 
ceremony. At once he was consecrated king, but that 
night was poisoned. Narathu then became king with- 
out opposition. He put to death many of his father's His cruelty, 
old servants and favourites. He commenced a magni- 
ficent temple known as Damayangyi, but from the buiw^ a great 
difficulty of procuring labourers caused by the severity 
with which the work was pushed on, the building pro- 
ceeded slowly. The most notorious of this king's 
crimes was the murder of his father's widow, the 
daughter of the king of Palikkara, whom he slew with 
his own hand. This led to a strange event. The father 
of the princess, on hearing of the murder of his 
daucrhter, disguised eight soldiers as brahmans, who 




Killed by for- 

King Naraba- 
disStbii ; builds 

KiiiK of Ceylon 
invades Pegu. 

were sworn to revenge the crime. They arrived at 
Pugiln, and were introduced into the palace under pre- 
tence of blessing the king. They killed him with a 
sword; after which they either killed each other or 
committed suicide, so that all died in the palace. This 
king is known to this day as " Kul^ Ky§, Meng," or the 
king killed by foreigners. 

He was succeeded by his son, who after three years 
was put to death by his brother. The latter then be- 
came king with the title of Narabadislthu. He built 
the temples called Goadoapaleng and Tsulamani. 
There was constant communication with Ceylon, from 
whence came four great Eah^n, who introduced some 
new philosophical or religious doctrines, but no change 
in worship was made. This king's reign lasted thirty- 
seven years. 

It is probable that during his reign events occurred 
which are recorded in the Mah^wansa of Ceylon, but of 
which no mention is made in the annals of Burma.^ It 
is there stated that Parakr§,ma, the king of Ceylon, was 
at peace with the king of E^manya or Pegu, which 
country was then subject to the king of Burma or 
Pug^n. At that time it was the custom for the king 
of Ceylon to maintain an agent or so-called ambassador 
in Pegu, whose expenses were provided by the king of 
that country. Such indeed is the Burmese practice at 
the present day as regards the representatives of foreign 
powers. The king of Burma however discontinued the 
usual payments and stopped some Sinhalese messengers 
who were going to Kamboja, seized their ships, and com- 
mitted other offensive acts towards subjects of the king 
of Ceylon. Parakr§,ma, a great warrior, determined to 
avenge these insults. He sent an army, which landed at 
one of the ports called Ukk^ka, probably Ukkalaba, an 

1 See paper on the conquests in T. W. Bhys Davids, Journal of Asi- 
the twelfth century by ParakrS,- atio Society of Bengal, vol. xli., 
ma Bahu, king of Ceylon, by Mr. N.S., p. 197. 


ancient city near the present town of Twant^, and took 
prisoner the governor of Pegu. Submission was now 
made, and tribute of elephants was promised. The im- 
portance of this affair has probably been exaggerated in 
the Sinhalese history, but it cannot be altogether an in- 
vention, and the silence of the Burmese history suggests 
that the incident was one not creditable to the Burmese 

Narabadisithu was succeeded by his son Zeya- Boadi temple 
thinhka, of whom nothing is recorded worthy of re- 
mark except that he built the temple at Pug^n called 
Boadi, which was intended to be a copy of that at 
Buddha Gaya. This was the last of the great temples 
built at Pug§,n. All the great religious buildings, which 
amidst a deserted city attract the traveller, were erected 
between the years a.d. 1057 and 1227. The reign of 
Zeyathinhka came to an end in the latter year. 

The time had now come when danger began to 
gather round the Pugan monarchy. The king, who, 
from the disaster that befell him, is called Tarukpye- 
meng — the king who lied from the Taruk — lived in 
greater luxury than any of his predecessors. He com- 
menced building a pagoda, costly in barbaric splendour, Tarukpy^meng 

° ^ ° ' , •' J. 1 I'uilds H costly 

but wantmg m the architectural grandeur or the temples pagoda, 
built by his ancestors. After a time the work was 
stopped, as a saying went abroad among the people, 
" The pagoda is finished and the country ruined." 
But again the labour proceeded, and the building was 
completed. The relic-chamber, into which pious Bud- a.d. 1274. 
dhists delight to pour their choicest treasures, was 
filled with golden vessels. There were models in pure 
gold of the seven holy stations first occupied by 
Goadama after he had attained the position of Buddha; 
golden images of the previous Buddhas and holy per- 
sonages ; of all the kings of Pugan ; and of the builder 
himself, his wives and children.^ But according to the 

' In Marco Polo there is men- city of Mien (undoubtedly PugSn), 
tion of a " tower " of gold at the which probably refers to this pa- 



Rebellion in 
Martaban, a.d. 

Mongol armies 
in China. 

A.D. 1253-34. 

A.D. 1255-56. 

Burmese history, these good works could not avert his 
fate. Evil deeds, whether in this life or in previous 
existence, determined his doom. Early in his reign 
an insurrection had occurred in the province of Marta- 
bau. A more serious revolt broke out later, when the 
Burmese governor, Alimmi,, was killed, and Wareru, a 
Shan by race, proclaimed himself king. The details of 
the events in Pegu will be told in a separate chapter. 
Amidst these disasters a still graver danger came from 
the north, and the great Mongol emperor of China sent 
an army against a kingdom already weakened by in- 
ternal disorder. 

Following out the plan of Jenghiz Khan, the Mongol 
armies had for thirty years been fighting to subdue the 
Chinese empire, then held by the Sung dynasty.^ Kublai, 
the lieutenant of his brother Mangu, who reigned at 
Karakoram as great khan, had command of the Mongol 
armies in China. He determined, for reasons the ad- 
vantages of which are not now apparent, first to con- 
quer Yunnan,- and in pursuance of that plan had to 
' make a march from the province of Shensi, of more 
than a thousand miles across unsubdued country. He 
took most of the fortified towns in Yunn^u, and then 
returned to Shensi, leaving Uriang Kadai in command. 
That general, according to Chinese history, turned his 
arms against Burma, and compelled recognition by the 
king of that country of the Mongol power. There is no 
mention in Burmese history of any collision on the 
Yunn§,n frontier at that time, and the character of the 
king, Tarukpy^meng, was not such as to render it pro- 
bable that he would be the aggressor against a coun- 
try more powerful than his own. It was not until 

goda. Notwithstanding the state- 
ment of Marco as to the respect 
paid to such a building by the 
great Khan, it is probable that it 
was plundered during the invasion 
by the Mongols. See Yule's Marco 

Polo, vol. ii. chap. liv. 

^ See Boulger's History of 
China, vol. i., chaps, xxii., xxiii., 
and xxiv. ; also Colonel Yule's 
Marco Polo, chaps, li. to liv., and 


more than twenty years later that the conquest of *•"• 1278. 
China was completed by Kublai Khan, who had then 
been proclaimed emperor ; and it was three years after, 
according to Burmese history, that a demand was made, 
in the name of the Mongol emperor of China, for gold 
and silver vessels to be sent as tribute, on the ground Mongol empemr 
that King Anoarahta, had presented such tokens of frora Burma, 
homage. The ambassadors who made this demand 
were, according to Burmese history, insolent in their 
conduct, and the king, against the remonstrance of 
his ministers, had them put to deat'h. The emperor 
of China assembled an army to punish this outrage. A 
Burmese army advanced towards the threatened fron- 
tier, and b uilt as _a support a stockade at^a_town called ^ 
Ngatshaungy^n, a position apparently to the south of 
Bamoa. The army then marched into the hill country 
by the course of the Tapeng river, where defence against 
attack from the eastward could be made with advan- 
tage. During three months the Burmese army resisted 
the invaders, in the hill country through which the 
Tapeng flows, but, overpowered by numbers, was forced 
to retreat. The Burmese then took up a position nearly 
a hundred miles to the south, opposite to the town of 
Mais, on the east bank of the Ir§,wadi. The Mongol 
army, having taken the stockade at Ngatshaungyan, 
pushed on in pursuit. A iierce battle was fought near 
Mais, when the Burmese were defeated, one of their Burmese army 
generals was killed, and the army fled in disorder 
towards the capital.^ 

At Pug^n the inhabitants were in confusion and 
terror. The king abandoned the city, having made 
no adequate preparation for defence, and hurried with 
his whole court down the river to Bassein. There he 
had vessels ready to convey him to Ceylon. The Mongol army 

, , , . T ^ , ^ occupies Pugaii, 

Mongol army reached the city, and detachments were a.d. 1284. 

' For the events of this cam- rians, see remarks in note at the 
paign, as told by Chinese histo- end of this chapter. 


sent about one hundred miles farther -Bouth, to a point 
on the east bank of the river known as Tarukmoa, or 
Turk point. The Mongol army, after plundering the 
capital, retired, as there was a difficulty in procuring 
supplies, and the immediate object of the expedition — 
to inflict punishment on the king for the murder of the 
ambassadors — had been attained. Some arrangement 
appears to have been made with a Burmese officer as 
to the future subordination of Burma to the Mongol 
emperor, but no details are recorded. The wretched 
king, after remaining five months at Bassein, set out 
on his return. The Burmese historian remarks with 
severity on the excessive luxury in which he lived 
amidst the desolation of his country. He reached 
Prome, where his son Thihathu was governor. The 

A.D. 1285. prince forced his father to swallow poison. 

Kyoaswa^^iast Tarukpyfemcug had several sons. Three of them, 

pug&n dynasty. UzauS., Thihathu, and KyoaswS,, disputed the succes- 
sion. The last named, who was governor of Dala in 

i.D. 1286. Pegu, succeeded, and became king at Pug§,n. But the 

empire had fallen to pieces. The numerous Eastern 
Sh^n states which had been tributary, all Pegu except 
Bassein, and Arakan, became independent. Monyin 
and Mogaung, powerful Sh§,n principalities to the 
north, were not claimed as being at this time part of 
the empire. KyoaswS,, though only acknowledged as 
king in the territory around Pugin, maintained himself 
there for twelve years. During the reign of Tarukpyfe- 
meng, men of Sh§,n race had gradually risen to high 
distinction in the kingdom, and chiefs of that people 
were about to seize the supreme power. 

Note on the Wars between Burma and China in the Reign of 
Kuhlai Khan. 

In the account of the invasion of Burma by the Mongols I 
luive followed the Burmese narrative respecting the field of the 


great battle, as being more consistent with the general events, in 
which both sides agree, and the topographical features of the 
country where the campaign occurred, than the statement on 
that point in Chinese history. According to the histories of 
both countries, there was only one great pitched battle, and both 
agree that victory therein lay with the Mongols. There is a 
discrepancy, amounting to about seven years, as to the date of tlie 
battle. The Burmese history may be in error to that extent. 

The Chinese histories and Marco Polo place the scene of the 
great battle at Yung Chang, four days' march east of Momien, 
or T6ng YUeh Ting, which appears then to have been the 
frontier post of Burma. The battle and the preliminary move- 
mfents are described in chapters li. and lii., book ii., of 
Marco Polo. It is there represented that the king of Burma, 
"a very puissant prince," hearing that the army of the great 
Khan was at Vochan (Yung Chang), determined in his ignorant 
truculence to read him a lesson.^ He therefore advanced with 
an army of sixty thousand men, with numerous elephants and 
horses, but it was defeated with great slaughter by the Tartars 
Tinder Nasruddlu on the "plain of Vochan." Marco Polo states 
that this battle occurred in a.d. 1272, but Colonel Yule con- 
siders that 1277 was more probably the date. The Burmese 
history represents the collision between the two sovereigns as 
happening some years later. It may be admitted that this 
battle cannot be directly connected with the operations mentioned 
as having occurred on the same frontier in 1255-56 ; and it must 
be considered as very improbable that the Burmese more than 
twenty years later would with reckless temerity have advanced 
so far from their own resources (which lay in the valley of the 
Ir&wadi), across two large unbridged rivers, very difficult to cross, 
and through a continuous mountainous country, one range being 
more than eight thousand feet high, to attack an enemy whose 
power they had already been compelled to recognise.^ Moreover, 
in 1277 Kublai Khan had nearly completed the conquest of 
China. He had assumed the title of emperor, and had given his 
dynasty the name of the Yuen in 1271. The Burmese could not 
at this time have been ignorant of the great power of the Mongol 
emperor, and were not likely to advance to a position of great 
danger and brave his wrath. Had they, however, marched on to 

1 In Boulger's History of China, history, and I am not aware on 

voL 1. p. 567, it is stated that " the what authority the statement is 

Burmese possessed an artillery made. 

force of sixteen guns. This is ^ See Boulger's History of China, 

not mentioned in any Burmese vol. i. p. 505. 


Ynng Chang, there was no reason why the fact should have 
been omitted in their national history. That history states that 
the quarrel arose from a demand for tribute made by the Mongol 
emperor. Nothing is more likely to have occurred. Then the 
king, provoked by the insolence in his presence of the Mongol 
ambassadors — or messengers, as they are termed in Burma — put 
them to death. This is probable, as he considered himself secure 
by distance and difficult country. He would not have felt this 
liad he been able to march to Yung Chang. The invasion fol- 
lowed as a matter of course, and the Burmese prudently remained 
on the defensive, but acknowledge they sustained an over- 
whelming defeat. 

On the whole, I am of opinion that only one great battle was 
fought between the armies of the two peoples throughout the 
whole period of the operations by the Mongols on the Yunnan 
frontier against Burma, extending from a.d. 1255 until about 
1284, and that the battle took place on a plain adjoining the 
Ir3,wadi. It is probable that in the account by Marco Polo and 
the Chinese historians there has been an error as to the locality 
of the engagement, arising from the fighting in the hill country 
of the Tapeng river, the irpper course of one branch of which was 
close to the border of the district of Yung Chang. 

It is worthy of remark that the Burmese history describes 
the Mongol army as consisting of two races : Taruk (written 
Tarup) and Taret. The first is probably Tiirk ; the final letter, 
though written p, is pronounced as k. There were numbers of 
that race in the Mongol armies. Nusruddin was probably a 
Turk. The word Taruk is now applied by the Burmese to the 
Chinese generally. The Manchu are called Taret. 

( 57 ) 



Three SMu brothers rise to power — King Kyoaswa deposed — Mongolian 
army arrives to restore the king— Thihathu, the youngest of the 
Shan brothers, becomes king, and reigns at Panya — Separate king- 
dom at Sagaingestablished — Panya taken by theShansof Mogaung 
— A Mongol army takes Mogaung — Events in the Shan kingdom 
of Sagaing — Sagaing and PSnya both fall to Thadomengbya. 

The fall of the Pug^n monarchy inevitably followed the Three sMn 
Mongol invasion and the flight of the king from his power!'" "" 
capital. The vreakness of the dynasty had long been 
manifest. Men of Sh^n race, who abounded in the 
country, had acquired great influence, and became 
powerful through royal favour. Early in the reign of 
Narathihapate, the chief of the small Shan state of 
Binnahk^ died, leaving two sons. They quarrelled 
regarding their inheritance, and the younger, named 
Thinghkabo, fled to Burma. He settled at Myinsaing, 
a few miles to the south of Ava, where there was 
already a Sh^n population. Thinghkabo had three sons, 
AthenhkarS,, E^j§,thengy^n, and Thihathu, also a daugh- 
ter, who was married to Prince Thihathu, the second 
son of the king. The three Shan brothers became 
wealthy and powerful. They were appointed governors 
of districts : the eldest to Myinsaing, the second to 
Mekhkar^, and the youngest to Penglg. After the 
capture of Pug§,n by the Mongol army, although no 
mention of any convention between the two powers is 
mentioned, it is probable than the Sh^n brothers agreed 
with the general of the invading army as to the future 


subordination of Burma to the Chinese empire. Their 
position would enable them to make this arrangement, 

King Kyoasw4 Kyoaswl, who reigned nominally at Pug§,n, had no 
power beyond the small district around the city. The 
three Sh§,n brothers exercised sovereignty within their 
own original governments, and gradually extended their 
authority over the adjoining country. One of the wives 
of the late king, known as Queen Soa, an active and 
ambitious woman, longing for direct power, determined 
to get rid of Kyoaswa. By her persuasion he went to 
the consecration of a monastery which the three Sh§,n 
brothers had built at Myinsaing. He was there seized 

A.D. 1298. and forced to become a Buddhist monk. The qiieen- 

dowager then returned to Pug§,n, where she became 
supreme, though Soanhlt, son of the deposed king, was 
still alive. He was content to live in the palace, and 
assumed a royal title,, without interfering in govern- 
ment ; but his younger brother, Meng Sheng Soa, was 
made governor of Tharetmyu, with the consent of the 
Sh§,n brothers. He more closely connected himself 
with them by marrying their sister's daughter by her 
marriage with his brother Prince Thihathu, who had 
been accidentally killed while hunting elephants in 

Mongolian army The dcposcd king, KyoaswS,, or his son, the titular 

arrives to re- | , . 

store the king, kmg, made complaint to the emperor of China that he, 
his tributary, had been deposed. A Mongol army was 
sent to restore the rightful king. This army, the Bur- 

A.D. I3CXJ. mese history states, arrived at Myinsaing to restore the 

king. The three Sh^n brothers, following the advice 
contained in the words of a song sung at a public enter- 
tainment, determined to end all disputes by putting the 
rightful king to death. They did so, and showing his 
head to the Mongolian general, said that no claimant 
to the throne remained. They then made him valuable 
presents. In return for the presents, the general 
allowed his army to dig a canal for irrigation, which 


■was finished in one night, and then withdrew from the 
country. This curious story prohably represents an 
historical fact as regards the appearance of a Mongolian 
force to restore the rightful king, and its retirement 
without effecting that object. But the date assigned in 
the Burmese history is no doubt much later than that 
of the event itself. Kublai Khan died in A.D. 1 294, 
and the second expedition to Burma apparently occurred 
earlier, as Marco Polo, who left China two years before 
the emperor's death, probably alludes to this second 
dispatch of a Mongol army into Burma in his fifty- 
fourth chapter as the march of "gleemen and jugglers," 
with " a captain and a body of men-at-arms to help 
them." There was no fighting, and the affair was settled 
with the Mongolian general at an entertainment. The 
descendant of the ancient kings was not placed on the Thihatim, the 

, . 1 youngest of the 

throne. The three Shan brothers ruled in the country shan brothers, 

i?iTAT 1 . c -I . becomes king, 

of the Irawadi over only a portion of the ancient men- and reigns at 
archy. The whole of the Shan states to the north were 
independent. To the south their influence did not 
extend beyond Prome. The territory of Tauugu was 
separated from the kingdom. The three brothers gov- 
erned justly, and for several years the country had 
rest. The second brother having died, the two others 
quarrelled, and the younger, Thihathu, having poisoned 
the elder, succeeded to the sole power. He searched for a.d. 1312. 
a suitable site to build a city, and a few miles to the 
north of Myinsaing, in digging the foundation of a 
pagoda, a golden flower was found, and there the city 
was built and called Panyl. 

Thihathu now adopted the style and title of the separate king- 
ancient kings of Pug^n. He married a daughter of esubHshed.'""*' 
Tariikpyemeng's, who had been married to her half- 
brother, KyoaswS,, and had a son named Usan^. That 
son was declared to be Ainshemeng, or heir-apparent. 
But Thihathu had a son named Athenghkara by his 
first wife of Sh4n .race, and the inevitable hatred be- 


tween the adopted and the own son, soon broke forth. 
Both received provinces, in which they maintained 
large bodies of armed men, and king Thihathu exer- 

i.D, 1315. cised no control over them. Athenghkar^ at length 

declared himself independent at Sagaing, and ruled 
over a large tract of country to the north, up to the 
border of Manipur. The king, his father, did not inter- 
fere, and thus commenced the line of kings of Sh^n 
race, who reigned at Sagaing for forty-nine years. 

A.D. 1322. King Thihathu died, and was succeeded at P^nyi by his 

adopted son, Usana. 

panya taken by Thihathu had a son by his marriage with the daugh- 

the ShEtns of ./ o ^ o 

Mogaung. ter of Tarukpyfemeng. The child received the name of 
KyoaswS,, and as he grew up, his descent, which made 
him representative of the old and the new dynasty, 
gave him great influence, which seemed likely to secure 
stability to the kingdom. UsanS, was little more than 
a nominal king, though he reigned for twenty years. 
He then abdicated and became a hermit. Kyoaswa 

A.D. 1342, ascended the throne, and assumed the title of Ng^st- 

sheng, as the supposed lord of five white elephants. 
This was an announcement of his superior title and 
claim by descent, to the ancient monarchy. But he 
failed in the attempt to reduce to his authority the 
kingdom established at Sagaing. He reigned only eight 
years, and then was succeeded by his son, who also was 
named KyoaswS,. After a reign of nine years his 
brother Narathu came to the throne, in whose time the 
Mau Shans from Muangkung, called by the Burmese 

A.D. 1364. Mogaung, attacked and took Panya, and carried away 

the king. A prince, called in the Burmese history 
Usana Byaung, was placed in the palace, but after three 
months the city was taken by a prince of uncertain 
lineage, styled Thadomengby^, who founded the city of 
Ava. The kingdom established at T^nyk and Myin- 
saing thus came to an end, after having lasted sixty- 
six years. 


During this period the dynasty established by a Mongni army 
Athenghkara at Sagaing had maintained itself with *"'''=^ """^aung. 
varying fortune; but before describing eVents in 
that state, mention must be made of an occurrence 
which shows the relation at this period borne by the 
Chinese empire to the governments existing in the 
country of the Irawadi, but which is not noticed in the 
Burmese history. It appears from the Sh§,n chronicle, 
discovered in Manipur,i that about a.d. 1332 a dispute 
arose between the king of Pong — so the chief of 
Mogaung is termed — and the governor of Yunnan. A 
Chinese or Mongol army invaded the country, and 
after a struggle of two years, the capital of Mogaung, 
to the west of the Ir§,wadi and north of Bamoa, was 
taken. The king, SugnamphS,, fled to Sagaing, where 
Tarabyagyl then reigned, and, on demand, he was sur- 
rendered to the emperor of China. The sons of 
Sugnamphi, succeeded to their father's kingdom, which, 
after the break-up of the Burmese monarchy, from a 
state of occasional subordination had become indepen- 

The founder of the kingdom of Sagaing died after a Events in the 
reign of seven years. He left three sons and a daughter, of sag^nf, ^i. 
but was succeeded by his half-brother TarabyS,gyi, who '^"' 
reigned for fourteen years, and then was dethroned by 
his son, Shwedaungtet. A party was formed against 
the usurper, who was slain after three years, and 
his father was put to death at the same time. The 
children of the founder of the kingdom, Athenghkar§,, 
now succeeded ; the eldest son, KyoaswS,, being raised to a.d. 1339. 
the throne. He reigned ten years, and after his death 
his two brothers successively succeeded, but died after 
short reigns. The daughter of the first king still re- 
mained. She had been married to a young man of un- 
known descent, called Thadohsenghtin, said to be of 

1 Report on the Eastern Frontier of Bengal, by Pemberton. Cal- 
cutta, 1835. 


the race of the ancient kings of Tagaung. He died, 
leaving a son named Eahula and two daughters. Their 
mother now married a Sh§,n chief named Mengbyauk, 
who, in right of his wife, was raised to the throne, and 
assumed the title of Thihapate. His stepson, Eahula, 
supposed to be of the royal race of Tagaung, was sent 
to govern that province, where he assumed the title 
of ThadoniengbyEi. After a few years he was attacked 
there by Thohkyinbwa, the king or chief of Mogaung, 
at the instigation of Narathu, king of PanyS,. Tagaung 
was taken, and the governor with difficulty escaped 
and fled to Sagaing. There his stepfather, enraged at 
his defeat, put him in irons. The chief of Mogaung 
followed up his success, and appeared before Sagaing 
with a large army. Mengbyauk was obliged to aban- 
don the city, and iled to the south. The Mogaung 

A.D. 1364. chief, on the ground that King Narathu had given him 

no assistance in the war, now attacked and took the 
city of P^nyi,. The city was plundered and the king 
taken prisoner. The Sh^n chief then retired to his 
own territory, leaving the people of the conquered 
cities to settle their own affairs. 

Sagaing and When Mengbyauk abandoned Sagaing, the people 

Ptoya both fall , it ,,■,,-,■ „ 

to Thadomeng- Were deeply discontented at his want of courage. 
They rallied round ThadomengbyS,, who put his step- 
father to death. He then determined to seize Painy^, 

A.D. 1364. where he attacked Usan^ Byaung, and put him to 


Thadomengbya had now no rival. He was believed 
to be descended from the ancient kings of Ta^auno- 
and through his mother he was the grandson of the 
Shan king of Sagaing, Athenghkara. His ambition 
prompted him to restore the Burmese kingdom, which 
had been broken up into many fragments, and he 
began the work without delay. 

( 63 ) 



City of Ava founded — MengkyiswS, Soakai recovers the Burmese king- 
dom as far as Prome, and resolves to conquer Pegu — Affairs of 
Pegu at the close of the PugHn monarchy — Taraby^ becomes 
king — Wareru becomes king in Martaban — Conquers Pegu — Suc- 
ceeded by Khunloa — Zoazip makes Hansiwadi, the city of Pegu, 
his capital — Binyiu driven from Martaban — Makes HansSwadi 
his capital — RSjfldirlt becomes king of Pegu — War between 
Burma and Pegu — King of Burma invades Pegu a second time — 
RSjadirit takes Martaban — Defeated at Bassein — Restores the 
ancient capital — Death of Mengkyiswa Soakai — Mengkhaung, 
king of Burma — EAjadirjt invades Burma — Retreats from Ava — 
Besieges Prome — Peace made — War renewed — King of Burma 
invades Pegu and fails — The Prince of Biirma leads an army of 
invasion — War with Thinsft — Rajadirit besieges Prome — Retreats 
to his own country — Burmese prince killed — Chinese army before 
Ava — Deaths of Mengkhaung and RSjadirit. 

ThadomengbyI determined to found' a new capital, city of Ava 


and selected the site near the mouth of the Myitnge, 

an affluent of the Irawadi. The city was called Awk 

or Ava, the Pali or classical name being Eatanapura, 

or city of gems. The work was carried on with great a.d. 1364. 

energy, — swamps were drained, pagodas were built, 

and the city wall marked out. The palace was in the 

centre and was the citadel of the defences. 

While this labour was in progress, the king marched 
to subdue the country to the south, which had not sub- 
mitted to him. The city of Sagu, under a local chief, 
offered a stubborn resistance, and while engaged before 
it Thadomengbyl caught the smallpox. He set out to 


return to Ava, but feeling that he must die, sent on a 
confidential follower with orders to put his queen to 
death, so that she might not fall to his successor. He 
died soon after, having reigned less than four years. 
He left no children. He is denounced in Burmese 
history as a man of cruel disposition, who altogether 
disregarded religion. 
jiengkyiBw& The noblcs now elected to the throne Taraby^ Soakai, 

Soakai recovers , *^ . ' 

the kingdom ojovernor of the district of Amyin. He was the son of 

as far as Prome, "-^ *^ 

and resolves to Meug Sheng Soa, who was the son of the deposed 

conquer Pegu. . ° ° i i . • i , 

kmg Kyoaswa, and his mother was niece to the three 
Shan brothers, so that he united the claims of both 
races. He took the title of Mengkyisw^ Soakai. His 
sympathies appear to have leaned more to the Sh^n 
race than to the Burmese. He gradually recovered the 
territory to the south which anciently belonged to the 
Pugan monarchy, and entered into apparently friendly 
communication with Binyau, the king of Pegu. That 
kingdom had been re-established under a new dynasty, 
and the king of Burma, who had gained possession of 
Prome, only waited for an opportunity to recover it 
as pertaining to the Burmese monarchy. 
Affairs of Pegu Bcforc the fall of the Pug^a monarchy the people 
the Pugto mon_- of Pcgu had become restive under foreign rule, and the 
becomes ktog.''^ wcak government of Tarukpyfemeng made the Burmese 
officers in that province, many of whom had formed 
connections among the Takings, desirous of establish- 
ing an independent government. The first open act of 
rebellion was committed by a Burmese officer named 
A.D. 1273. Ahkamwun. He had married into a Taking family, 

and gained influence among the people. He took pos- 
session of the ancient capital, Hans§,wadi ; defeated an 
army that was sent against him ; and proclaimed him- 
self king of Pegu. He soon became hated for his 
tyranny, and after two years was put to death by his 
brother-in-law, Lenggy^,; who himself was killed by 
another relation, who then was consecrated king under 
the title of TarabyS,. 


About the same time the country of Martabaii ware™ becomes 
(properly Muttam^) -was disturbed by a movement bau^ '" ^*'^"" 
made to establish independence. Many Sh§,ns had 
settled here from Zimmfe and other adjoining states, 
and a merchant of that race named MS,gadu had ac- 
quired wealth and authority. He went to Thuhkat^, 
then the seat of the ruling Siamese chief on the upper 
course of the Men§,m, and probably gained approval of 
his plans. On his return he raised a rebellion against 
Alimma, the Burmese governor, and put him to death, a.d. 1231. 
He now became king of Martaban under the name of 

The king of Pugan sent an army to recover Pegu. warSm conquers 
The Burmese were stockaded at Dala, and Tarabya not ^^^"' 
feeling strong enough to attack the post, applied to 
WarSru to assist him. The king of Martaban came 
with an army, and the allies advanced " by land and 
water against DMa. They forced the Burmese to retire 
within their own frontier. The two kings with their 
armies then came down the river and encamped to the 
south of the city of Pegu. Here a quarrel arose which 
was provoked by Wareru; a battle was fought, and 
Taraby4 was defeated and fled. Wareru at once took 
possession of the capital. Taraby^ was caught by some 
villagers and delivered up to his rival. The conqueror 
proclaimed himself king, but did not choose to fix the 
seat of his government at Hansi,wadi. After having 
settled the affairs of the country, he returned to Mar- 
taban, taking Taraby4 with him. The deposed king was 
soon after put to death for entering into a conspiracy. 

Wareru possessed a white elephant which the three Assassinated. 
Sh^n brothers who ruled at PinyS, endeavoured by war 
to obtain. They were defeated, and Wareru for the 
rest of his reign was free from foreign attack. He was 
assassinated in his palace by two sons of Tarabya, whose a. p. 1306. 
lives he had spared. They took refuge in a monastery, 
but were dragged forth and put to death. 

E * 


Succeeded by He "was succeeded by his brother Khunloa, whose 
first care was to soucit recognition of his title trom the 
king of Siam. This was granted, and the regalia were 
forwarded to him. An attack was made by the chief 
of Ziramh on a town to the east of the Sittaung river, 
and as the king made no effort to defend his territory, 
he was put to death by his brother-in-law, Meng B^la, 
who placed his own son Zoaoa, nephew to the late 
king, on the throne. The young king was married to 
a daughter of the king of Siam ; but, notwithstanding 
this, he took possession of Tavoy and Tenasserim, which 
for a time had been possessed by Siam. The reign of 
this king was prosperous. Pegu was held safely, 
having nothing to fear from Burma. But the king's 
desire to be independent of Siam led to future wars 
between the two countries, 
zoazip makes The successor of Zoaoa was his brother Zoazip, who 
his capital. took the title of Binyaranda. He removed the seat of 
^■°- '323- government to Hans§,wadi, leaving Martaban under a 

governor, with a strong garrison. But though he was 
supreme in the country of the delta, the southern pro- 
vinces, Tavoy and Tenasserim, were retaken by the king 
of Siam.'^ He hoped to compensate himself for this 
loss by taking possession of Prome. That city, impor- 
tant from its position on the Irawadi, appears at this 
time to have been held by an independent chief, whose 
name is not stated. Binyar&.nda besieged the place 
with a large army and flotilla, but was defeated and 
A.D. 1330. slain. Amidst the confusion which ensued, an officer 

of the palace at Martaban, styled Dibb§,n Meng, pro- 
claimed himself king, but was put to death after a few 
days. A similar fate befell another competitor for the 
the throne, Egank§,n ; and a son of Khunloa, who at 

^ It is stated in the history of then subject to him. The two 

Siam that King Phra Ramathibodi first-named towns may have been, 

founded the capital Ayuthia, a.d. but not the two last at that time. 

1350, and that Tenasserim, Tavoy, See Bowring's Siam, vol. i. p. 43. 
Martaban, and Maulmein wert 


the time was governor of Hans^wadi, was at length 
consecrated king with the title Binyagloa. The king 
of Siam, angered at the death of Egank^n, who was his 
daughter's son, sent an army to punish 'his murderer. 
The Siamese force was defeated, and from this time the 
subordination of the dynasty of Wargru to Siam, ceased. 

Binyaeloa reigned for eighteen years at Hans§,wadi. 
He had freed his kingdom from foreign supremacy, but 
the country was disturbed by a quarrel between his son 
and the next nearest heir, Binyau. The son having 
died, Binyiu succeeded, and assumed the title of 
Hsengphyusheng, as possessor of a white elephant. 
He made Martab§,n his capital. 

Three years after he came to the throne the Shans of BinyAu, driven 
Zimmfe attacked the fortified town of Dunwun, which makes Hansa- ' 
was to the north of Thahtun. This attack was pro- '^'"^' ""^ ""^"^^' 
bably instigated by the king of Siam. After some 
fighting the Sh^ns were driven out. Binyau sent an 
ambassador- to Ceylon and obtained a holy relic, for 
which a pagoda was built near to the scene of the last 
victory over the Sh^ns. But misfortunes gathered 
round the king. The governor of Pegu rebelled, and 
though he was easily subdued, the white elephant died, 
a portentous event to a Buddhist sovereign. While 
Biny§,u was in the forest endeavouring to capture 
another white elephant, his relation By§,ttaba rebelled, 
and took possession of Martaban. The king was forced 
to take refuge in Dunwun, and By^ttabS, for several 
years remained supreme in Martaban. In Pegu, how- 
ever, the king consolidated his power, and restored the 
ancient capital, Hansawadi; but, under the influence 
of his favourite queen, he endeavoured to set aside the 
claims of his eldest son, Biny^nwfe, in favour of her 
children. Biny^nwe, in self-defence, took possession 
of Dagun, now Eangoon, and engaged the services of 
some Western foreigners, probably Muhammadan ad- 
venturers from India or the shores of the Persian Gulf, 


who had more seaworthy boats than those used by the 
Takings. The king was too ill to exert himself to 
uphold his authority, and by order of the queen an 
army was sent against the rebellious son. This he 
defeated, and during the struggle the king, his father, 
Kaiadirtt be- BinvEinwfe uow became king without opposition. He 

comes king or "^ (.aat tt 

Pegu, A.D. 1385. assumed the title of Eajadirlt. He forgave most of 
those who had opposed him during the lifetime of 
his father, and even treated with respect the queen, 
who had endeavoured to exclude him from the throne. 
But there was one powerful noble, Laukby^, the gover- 
nor of MyaungmyS,, a member of the royal family, who 
hated him, and determined not to submit to his autho- 
rity. The state of affairs in the neighbouring kingdom 
made this opposition dangerous to the king of Pegu. 
The kingdom of Burma had become consolidated under 
Meng KyiswS, Soakai, and he determined to recover the 
territory which had belonged to the kings of Pug^n. 
The chief of Myaungmya entered into communication 
with him, and suggested that he should invade Pegu, 
engaging, if placed on the throne, to hold the kingdom 
as a tributary. The king of Burma made preparations 
, to carry out the plan. 

War between An armv composed of two columns was sent against 

Burma and .^ t" i i j 

Pegu. Pegu. One, under the king s elder son, advanced by the 

valley of the Paunglaung river to Taungu, and on to 
Pangyoa, north of Hans§,wadi. The other, under the 
second son, and accompanied by a flotilla, marched down 
the left bank of the Ir^wadi, and took possession of the 
town of Hlaing. Both columns were thus within strik- 
ing distance of the capital, but they did not act in 
concert. Laukby^ rendered no ef&cient support, and 
Eajadirtt severely defeated the Burmese force at Hlaing. 
The rainy season, which in Pegu renders movement of 
troops by land very difficult, if not impossible, was at 
hand, and the two princes made a rapid retreat. 


But the king of Pegu, though successful, dreaded 
another invasion, and sent an envoy with a letter and 
presents to the king of Burma, hoping to avert further 
attack. Meng KyiswS, Soakai answered sternly that 
the Talaing country belonged to his ancestors, and 
must be recovered. The presents were scornfully re- 

After the rainy season, the king of Burma himself King of Burma 

■i-ji ,., •,! . . invades Pegu a 

neaaed. an army, which, as in the previous campaign, second time, 
took possession of Hlaing. LaukbyS, gave active assist- ^ °' '^^'' 
ance to the invader. Eaj^dirlt established himself in a 
strong stockade at Maubt. The Burmese were detained 
before this work so long that the dreaded rainy season 
drew nigh, and Meng Kyiswa Soakai retreated. The 
Talaing army followed in pursuit as far as Prome, but 
did not venture to attack that city. 

The king of Pegu being rid of the formidable invader, EijMMt takes 

T , . ? , , .,,■,„■,,. , Martaban. 

determined to conquer those who still defied his autho- 
rity within the ancient Talaing kingdom. He sent an 
army against Martaban, where By§,ttaba still ruled. 
He, however, abandoned the city and fled to a foreign 
country, leaving two Muhammadan officers in com- 
mand. They were defeated in a battle outside the city, 
and Eajadirit took possession. a.d. 1388. 

The king next proceeded against LaukbyS, in his Defeated at 
town of Myaungmya. He went with a large force, but ^''^*^™' 
the place, which at this period appears to have been 
the principal port for this part of Pegu, was so strongly 
fortified that he did not dare to attack it. He sent his 
army against Bassein, where Laukbya's three sons com- 
manded. This town was defended by foreign decked 
boats armed with guns.^ The king's army suffered a 
defeat. The general was killed, and the attacking force 
retreated. But in subsequent operations LaukbyS, who 

1 Probably of the kind known wooden stand, and throwing a ball 
as "jingal," a, metal tube about generally less than one pound 
three feet long, mounted on a weight. 



A.D. 1390. 

RajS,dirit re- 
stores tlie capi- 
tal of Pegu. 

Death of Meng 

A.D. 1400. 

Meng Khaunff, 
king of Burma. 

Raj^dirlt in- 
vades Burma, 

A.D. 1404. 

appears to have become too venturesome after success, 
was taken prisoner, and Myaungmy^ surrendered. His 
son fled to Sandoway in Arakan, but was delivered up 
on demand, and he was made a pagoda slave to the 

Eljadirit now beautified his capital, Hans^wadi, and 
improved the defences. On the northern frontier he 
drove the Burmese from a town they had occupied 
within his territory. • He entered into friendly commu- 
nication with the king of Siam, who claimed him to be 
of the same race as himself, and feeling now secure in 
his kingdom, he settled the internal affairs of the 
country. But he suspected his eldest son of conspir- 
ing against him, and put him to death. 

The warlike king of Burma, Meng Kyisw^ Soakai, 
died, and was succeeded by his son, Hshengphyusheng ; 
but he soon after was murdered, and his brother Meng 
Khaung was placed on the throne. 

Meng Khaung became involved in a quarrel with the 
king of Arakan, who had made an incursion into the 
province of Ava. This led to an invasion of Arakan 
by the king of Burma ; but though it was successful, the 
occasion seemed to E^j^dirtt to afford a suitable oppor- 
tunity to take revenge for the invasions by Meng Kyisw^ 
Soakai. He assembled an army and a great flotilla, 
with which he advanced up the Ir^wadi at the close of 
the rainy season. The army reached Prome, but the 
king of Pegu did not dare to attack the place, as guns 
were mounted on the rampart. The Burmese history 
states that some of the garrison were armed with mus- 
kets, which is no doubt an error. They probably had 
firearms which were held, in the hand when discharged, 
and the name of the more modern weapon has been 
given to them by later copyists of the chronicles. The 
governor of Prome at this time was one of the sons of 
Laukby^, late governor of Myaungmy^, from whence 
the firearms had probably been brought. K§,jldirlt 


pushed on past Prome and reached Sasaing. Meng 
-Knanng had no flotilla to oppose to him, but he remained 
secure within the walls of Ava, and the king of Pegu, 
though he had command of the surrounding country, 
could not carry the place by storm, and was not pre- 
pared to reduce it by blockade. He was glad of the Retreats from 
pretence of being persuaded to retire by the eloquence ^™' 
of a famous Buddhist monk, who preached to him of 
the wickedness of war, which brought suffering and 
death to thousands. Before leaving, he broke up the 
magnificent floating palace in which he had ascended 
the Ir§,wadi, and with the timber built a monastery at 
Shw^kyet near Ava. 

Though foiled in his attempt on the Burmese capital, Besieges prome 
E^jadirit considered the possession of Prome essential °''°''"''' "" 
to the safety of his kingdom. After the rainy season, a-d. 1406. 
therefore, he advanced up the river with a large army, 
and established his camp on the right bank, nearly 
opposite to the, town. He placed a strong detachment 
on the east bank to the north of the town, and with the 
help of his large flotilla, hoped by famine to force the 
garrison to surrender. The king of Burma, however, 
marched down and overwhelmed the isolated detach- 
ment, though it was strongly intrenched. The Talaing 
flotilla kept command of the river, and ravaged the 
country even beyond Myedai. The two kings, finding 
that for the present they were too equally matched for 
either to become superior, came to an understanding 
and swore friendship at the Prome pagoda. The king 
of Pegu married the sister of the king of Burma, and 
the boundary between the two kingdoms was drawn 
soiith of the town. 

This reconciliation, even if sincere at the moment, war renewed, 
was of short duration. The king of Burma took offence 
at a Talaing garrison being posted near the frontier. 
He desired also to punish the king of Arakan ; and, to 
prevent Eajadirit from interfering, sent a letter to the 


chief of Zimme, desiring him to threaten the Peguan 
frontier near Sittaung. This letter was intercepted 
and the messengers were killed. The king of Pegu 
assembled an army at Bassein to watch affairs in 
Arakan, and to be prepared to interfere if advisable. 
The Burmese army marched into Arakan across the 
mountain pass of N^tySg^n, and the king of that 
country fled to Bengal.^ His son went south to the 
town of Sandoway, and thence to Bassein. The king 
of Pegu promised the prince support against the Bur- 
mese, and at once sent his army to occupy Sandoway. 
Kfi,maru, the son-in-law of Meng Khaung, had been 
made governor of Arakan, with the title of Anoaraht^. 
He was at the capital in the northern part of the 
kingdom. The Talaing army marched there. K§,maru 
was taken prisoner, with his wife and children. They 
were carried to Bassein, where he was cruelly put to 
death, and his wife was taken into E&j^dirtt's palace 
as one of the queens. The Talaing army left Arakan, 
having placed the son of the exiled king as regent at 
the capital. During these events a brother of the 
king of Burma, offended that he had not been appointed 
Ainshfimeng, or heir-apparent, rebelled, but was defeated 
and made prisoner. The king pardoned and released 
him, but he fled and took refuge with the king of Pegu. 
He was welcomed by Ei,j§,dirit as an adherent who 
might be useful, and he gave him his sister in marriage. 
King of Burma The cruel murder of his son-in-law and the treatment 
M ™foiis^^^"' of his daughter, determined the king of Burma to invade 
Pegu. In vain his ministers besought him to wait, 
and represented the difficulty of operating in Pegu at 
the season of the year when the rain falls. He would 
A.D. ;4°7- brook no delay. It was late in the month of April 

when he marched from Ava by the Taungii route. The 
king of Pegu led his army northward from his capital 

1 In the history of Arakan this A.D. 1406. By Burniese history it 
event is stated to have occurred vi^as a year or more later. 


to meet the invader, and his advanced guard being 
repulsed, he took up a position at P^ngyoa. The Bur- 
mese plundered and burnt the towns and villages of 
the country they occupied ; but the rainy season having 
set in, their movements were impeded, and provisions 
began to fail. Meng Khaung attempted to negotiate, 
but at last was forced to retreat, and his army was soon 
in disastrous flight. The Burmese suffered great loss ; 
yet the king two years later again invaded Pegu with 
no better success. 

Meng Khaung, depressed by defeat, no longer felt 
capable of leading an army; but his son, Mengrai 
KyoaswS,, though only seventeen years of age, was put The pnnoe of 
in command to retrieve the past disasters. His mother army of 
had been taken prisoner during the war of 1406 near 
Prome, and his sister was the wife of the governor of 
Arakan, who had been put to death. Both were still 
detained by E^j^dirit, and the young prince burned to 
avenge the insults his family had suffered. The point 
for attack selected was the western side of the delta ; 
and the prince, leading an army of twenty thousand a.d. 1410. 
men, took possession of a post in the district of Bassein. 
EaJEldirit was at this time detained at Martaban, which 
was threatened by an attack from Zimme, probably 
prompted by the king of Burma. The prince was 
unsuccessful in Bassein, and, after several months' 
operations, marched across the hills into Arakan, and 
proceeded to the capital of that country. He chased 
away the 'regent who had been appointed by E§,jMirit, 
and placed in authority an officer of his own. But 
a Talaing force occupied Sandoway; and though the 
prince endeavoured to drive it out, he was unsuccessful, 
and the Talaings once more drove out the Burmese 
regent at the capital of Arakan. 

The king of Burma was now occupied with the Shin war with 
state of Thinni. The origin of the quarrel is not 
stated, but Mengrai KyoaswS, was sent against the chief 


A.D. 1412. of that state, who was defeated and slain. His sons 

shut themselves up in their fortified city, and called in 
the Chinese to help them. The prince attacked the 
Chinese army while on the march, and defeated it. 
He then returned and reinvested the city, which siir- 

R4jadirit rendered. But at this time E§,j^dirlt determined once 

more to strike at Prome. He arrived there, and on 
account of the guns was forced to keep at a distance 
from the walls, but he hoped to starve out the garrison. 
The alarm of a Siamese army marching on Martaban 
recalled him to Pegu. His son was left in command 
to continue the siege. He after a time was compelled 
to stockade himself on the western bank of the river. 
The king returned to his support, but the valiant Bur- 
mese prince had arrived from Thinni, and the Talaing 

Retreats to his armv, worstcd in many skirmishes, was forced to retire. 

own country. ^ •' 

The Burmese prince, not satisfied at having repelled 
the attack, followed the Talaing army into the delta. 
He even gained possession of D^la, Syriam, and other 
places of importance; and his father, Meng Khaung, 
deeming that a final triumph would be obtained, him- 
self came down to Pegu ; but the king of Pegu stirred 
up a Sh§,n chief in the north to attack some towns in 
the Burmese territory. At the same time the prince 
met with a defeat, and the king of Burma deemed it 
prudent to retire to his own country. 

kmT^° ?'•'"<=« The warlike prince of Burma thought he had only 
been prevented by accident from accomplishing all he 
aimed at. He once more occupied the Bassein district 
with an army, but was killed in battle, and the Bur- 

A.D. 1416. mese army retired. Another expedition to Pegu was 

made by his brother, Thihathii, but it was unsuccessful. 

Chinese army During this War a serious danger threatened the Bur- 
mese king. Two Sh§,n chiefs had attacked MySdu, 
which was subject to Ava. The king sent a force 
against them, and they fled to the Chinese territory, 
while their wives and children were made prisoners. 


A Chinese army marched down to Ava, and required 
that the wives and children of the two chiefs should 
be released. According to the Burmese chronicle, the 
point whether they should be surrendered or not was 
left to be decided by the result of a battle between two 
champions. A Talaing chief, who was prisoner at Ava, 
was allowed to represent the Burmese side. He killed 
the Chinese champion, who was clad in armour, and the 
Chinese army then withdrew without the demand for 
the prisoners being enforced. 

After this incident Men" Khaung undertook no more Deaths of Meng 

If. Khaung and 

wars. He sought to gather merit by the performance R&jMn-it. 
of good works. He died after a reign of twenty-one a.d. 1422. 
years. His great enemy, ES,j^dirib, also devoted his 
later years to religion. The two nations were exhausted 
after their long struggle. The Talaing king maintained 
his bodily activity to the last, and died from the effect 
of a wound received in hunting a wild elephant, only 
one year after the death of Meng Khaung. He reigned 
thirty-eight years. 

( 76 ) 



Arakan subordinate to Burma— King of Arakan takes refuge in Ben- 
gal — Arakan the battlefield of the kings of Burma and Pegu — 
Arakan tributary to Bengal — Arakanese kings annex Ohittagaon 
— Invasion of Arakan by the Burmese king — Invasion from Tippera 

Arakan subordi. Aeakan became Subordinate to the Pug§,n monarchy 

■ iiate to Burma, ^_. ^ __. 

A.D. 1 102-3. from the time when Letyamengnan was placed on the 
throne of his ancestors. He fixed his capital at Parin. 
The country enjoyed rest for a long period, and there is 
nothing in the annals worthy of remark until after the 
capture of Pug§,n by the Mongols. In the early part of 
the fourteenth century mention is made of invasion by 
the Shans, which apparently refers to attacks by the 
kings of Myinsaing and P§,nya. In the last quarter of 
that century the king of Arakan became involved in the 
quarrel between Burma and Pegu by the son of the 
rebel governor of MyaungmyS, having taken refuge in 
Sandoway, from whence he was surrendered to the king 
of Pegu. 'About the same time communication was 
made by the king of Arakan to the king of Bengal. 
The latter country is called Surat§,n, which may be a 
corruption of Sunargaon, which had for a time been the 
capital; or may refer to the title sultan. Presents were 
interchanged by the two sovereigns, the ruler of Arakan 
probably hoping to find an ally against attack from 
Burma. According to the Burmese history, the king 

A.D. 1373. of Arakan having died without leaving an heir, the 

nobles of that country offered the throne to Meng 


Kyiswl, king of Burma, who appointed his uncle, 
Soamwung-yi, tributary king. The Arakanese annals at 
this time narrate how the country was for many years 
in great confusion, and that usurpers, one after another, 
became the rulers. At length, the native king, Meng 
Soamwun, was driven from his kingdom by an army ^.d. 1406. 
sent by Pyinsing Mengswsl, called also Meng Kham- 
aung, king of Burma, which took possession of the 
capital, then Laungkyet. 

Meng Soamwun fled to Bengal, an event that led to a King of Avakan 

, . . T . 11-1 fakes refuge in 

close connection between the two countries, and which Bengal, 
lasted for more than two centuries. At this time the 
Mussulm§,n kings of Bengal were independent of the 
emperors of Dehli, and their capital was at or near 
Gour. The events narrated in the annals of Arakan as 
having occurred during this interval are generally con- 
sistent with the history of that country, and there is a 
coincidence of dates which supports the chronology of 
the Arakanese statements.^ According to .the latter, 
the dethroned king was for twenty-four years residing 
in Bengal. During that time the king of Bengal was a.d. 1430. 
attacked by the king of Dehli, and the exile rendered 
good service to his protector. Now, though the king of 
'Bengal was not attacked by the king of Dehli at this 
period, his kingdom was invaded by Ibrahim, the king 
of Jounpoor, who carried off many prisoners. 

Durin" the exile of Meng Soamwun, the kings of Arakan the 

" " I! 1 • 1 1 battlefield of the 

Burma and of Pegu made Arakan one of their battle- wngs of Burma 

- , . . T , . and Pegu. 

fields. The former placed his son-in-law on the throne, 
with the title of Anoarahta. The king of Pegu attacked 
him, took him prisoner, and put him to death. This 
led to an invasion of Pegu from Burma. Arakan 
suffered in the contest between the two stronger coun- 
tries ; and after a severe struggle, with varying fortune, 
Eajadirit succeeded in occupying the capital of Arakan ; 

^ See Marshman's History of Bengal, 4th edition. Serampore, pp. 
16, 17. 


and the tributary king or governor he placed there, 
appears to have remained in power until A.D. 1423. 

A.D. 1426. Ahmed Shah, the king of Bengal, died, and as he 

left no son, the nobles placed Nazir Shah on the throne. 
He undertook to restore Meng Soamwun. At first a 
general styled in the Arakanese history Wall Khan 
was charged with this duty ; but he betrayed his trust, 
and joining with a discontented Arakanese chief, im- 
prisoned Meng Soamwun. The king escaped, and a 
second army was sent, which overcame all opposition, 

Meng Soamwun and placcd the exiled king on the throne of his ances- 

restored, ^ p nr i 

A.D. 1430. tors. He founded the city of Myauku, now known as 

Arakan city, which continued to be the capital for four 
hundred years. 

tery^to Bengal '^^^ rsstored king agreed to be tributary to the king 
of Bengal. This subordinate relationship did not last 
long ; but from this time the strange anomaly occurs of 
Buddhist kings using, in addition to their own names, 
Muhammadan designations and titles, and even issuing 
coins bearing the Kalima. This practice probably was 
first introduced in fulfilment of the promise made by 
Meng Soamwun, but was continued in later times as 
a token of sovereignty in Chittagaon, which was recog- 
nised as lying geographically beyond the country of the 
Burma race. 

Arakanese kings Meng Soamwuu was succceded by his brother, Mens 

annex Chitta- ^ ./ » o 

gaon. Khari, who also bore the name of Ali Khan. He did 

not long submit to the authority of the king of Bengal. 
He took possession of the country as far as Eamu, and 
during a reign of twenty-five years kept his country 
free from attack by his dangerous eastern neighbours. 

A.D. 1459. His son, Basoahpyu, who succeeded him, took posses- 

sion of the town of Chittagaon. The king of Bengal 
at this time was Barbek Shah, who allowed the affairs 
of his kingdom to fall into confusion. Basoahpyu 
issued a coin bearing the Kalima, and in Arakanese 
history is known by that designation. Though highly 


praised by his countrymen, he lost his life in a rebel- 
lion by his son DoalyS,, who succeeded him. For the 
next half-century the kings of Arakan, though by ad- mSs. 
reason of the weakness of the kings of Bengal they 
retained Chittagaon, yet were troubled with rebellions 
at home, and several of them were assassinated. At 
length a young king of great ability, named Meng 
Beng, came to the throne. In his time European ships a.d. 1531. 
first arrived, and in one or two instances attacked and 
plundered villages on the coast without provocation, as 
it is stated in the native annals. It is supposed that 
these were Portuguese ships. Meng Beng hearing 
of the conquests of Tabeng Shwghti in Pegu, had the 
sagacity to foresee that his country might be invaded. 
He at once commenced extensive earthworks to defend 
his capital, and dug a deep moat which could be filled 
by tidal water. The work was pushed on with great 
energy, and the event which Meng Beng had prepared for, 
came to pass. An army from the eastward took posses- *d. 1544. 
sion of Sandoway, but the Arakanese opposed a stiff 
resistance when the enemy attempted to march north- 
ward. The invaders held Sandoway for two years, when 
Tabeng Shw^hti himself appeared with a force which 
the Arakanese were unable to withstand. The Burmese 
king marched northward with an army of Burmese, invasion of 
Talaing, and Shan. He came before the capital, but Burmese king° 
found it too strongly fortified to admit of capture by 
assault, and shrank from the delay of attempting to 
force surrender by blockade. He was glad to come to 
terms in order to secure an unmolested retreat, and 
Meng Beng was willing to be rid of so formidable an 
enemy without driving him to desperation. 

While Meng. Beng was thus engaged, au enemy had invasion from 
appeared from the north called in the Arakanese his- paised. "^^ 
tory the Thek or Sak king, by which term the Tikjk of 
Tippera appears to be meant. He had penetrated to 
Eamu, but was now driven back, and Meng Beng again 


occupied Chittagaon. Coins which bear his name and 
the title of sultan were struck at that city. He reigned 
until A.D. 1553. 

Kalima coin,- 
etruck by a king of Arakau. 

Coin of Meng Beng, 
8truck in Chittagaon. 

( 8i ) 



Burmese invasion of Pegu — King of Burma deposed — Chief of Monyin 
becomes king of Burma — Rising power of Taungu — BinyH, RSukit, 
king of Pegu — The king of Pegu allies himself with the king of 
Burma — Sheng Soabu, queen of Pegu — Constant wars between 
Burma and the Northern Shan chiefs — Chinese invasion of Burma 
— Long and peaceful reign of DhammSzedi in Pegu — Kingdom of 
Burma reduced in power — The chief of Monyin puts his son on the 
throne of Burma — Burmese nobles fly to Taungu — Pegu enjoys a 
long peace under Binya Kan. 

iNA-va^'Meng El.haaiJig was succeeded by his son Thi- Bm-mcso invi 
hatEu7 and in Pegu Binyi DhammS, Eaj^ succeeded 
his father Eajaflifit. The quarrel between the two 
countries was renewed, being excited by the king of 
Pegu's brothers, Binya Ean and Binya Keng. Believing 
that their lives were in danger from enemies in the 
palace, they gathered followers and came to open war 
with the king. But the elder of the two ceased his 
opposition and was declared heir-apparent. Binya 
Keng had written to the king of Burma for support and 
tendered his allegiance. He occupied the town of Dala, 
which was strongly blockaded ; and a Burmese army 
came down and was received by the prince. But the 
Burmese commander allowed his troops to plunder the 
town, and Binya Keng, disgusted with his allies, aban- 
doned them and submitted to the king his brother. 
The Burmese force now retired to Prome. Binya Keng 
for a short time returned to his former government at 


D^la, but soon moved to Martaban ; while Binya E4n, 
who still maintained secret designs to establish his own 
power, received the governorship of Bassein, including 
all the western part of the delta. The king of Pegu 
was entirely in the hands of a court faction, and this 
explains the restless, and apparently ungrateful con- 
duct towards their brother of the two princes. Binya 
Ean again entered into communication with King 
Thihathu and occupied Dagun, now Eangoon. A 
Burmese force again came down and took possession of 
D§,la, while the prince, as a pledge of his good faith, 
gave his sister in marriage to the king of Burma. The 
princess, who h^d already been married once, was by 
an unusual proceeding consecrated as a queen, and then 
went to Ava, where the highest rank in the palace was 
accorded to her. She afterwards became famous in 
Peguan history as Sheng Soabu. This marriage, how- 
ever, was the immediate cause of the deposition of Thi- 

Kinjot Burma hathu. His chief queeu, Soahpome, jcalous of the high 
distinction granted to a stranger, called in a Shan chief, 
Unbaunglfe, who advanced with an army to Ava. The 
king had been induced to go outside the city to direct 
the excavation of a canal. He was suddenly attacked 
by a band of armed men and wounded by an arrow. 
He escaped and fled to Monyin, where he died soon 
after. Queen Soabu then married a nobleman named 

Chief of Monyin The citizeus of Ava joined together against the Shan 

becomes king of ^ . -, • ^ , ■ t p ^ 

Burma. aimy of Unbaungle, which retired from the city. An 

infant sou of Thihathu was put on the throne; but 
Queen Soahpom^ called in the chief of Kalh, who came 
with an army, seized the palace, and killed the infant 
king. The usurper's reign was short. The chief of 
Monyin, named Mengn§,nsl, was a man of great in- 
fluence. He. was of Sh^n race, but claimed to be 
descended from the ancient kings of Pug'§,n through 
a daughter of ]Srg§,tsisheng Kyoaswi, who reigned at 


PanyS,. He determined to assert his claim to the 
throne of Burma. He marched at the head of a large 
army and invested Ava. There was a general com- 
bination against the chief of Kal^. He fled, accom- 
panied by Queen Soahpom^. Mengnansi took posses- 
sion of the palace as king. The Kal^ chief died in the a.d. 14=6. 
jangal, and the queen, the companion of his flight, was 
received back into the palace with her former rank. 
The Shan chief found some trouble in reducing the 
provinces to obedience to his rule. Taungu was Rising power ot 
governed by Soalu, who was too powerful to be re- ''^''™^"- 
garded otherwise than with respect. He came to Ava, 
and was treated almost as an equal. Before long he 
strengthened his position by forming an alliance with 
the king of Pegu, and his younger brother was made 
governor of the province of Tharawadi. Many Bur- 
mese families of high rank, unwilling to remain under 
the Shan king, settled in Taungu, and made it the 
nucleus of a power, destined in the next century to 
reunite the scattered territories, into which the ancient 
monarchy of PugS,n had become divided. 

In Pegu, BinvS, Dhamma Eai§, had been got rid of Bmya nankit, 

° " •' ° king of Pegu. 

by poison, and his brother, who had been acknowledged 
as heir-apparent, succeeded to the throne, and is known 
as Binya Eanklt. He allowed Biny& Keng to remain 
as viceroy at Martaban, where he exercised almost in- 
dependent authority; and the province was governed 
by his successors for many years, with nominal subor- 
dination to the king of Pegu. 

The ruler of Taungu, who desired to strengthen him- King of Pegu 

.° ATiAiA •• • allies himself 

self agamst Ava, induced Bmya Eankit to join m an with the kiug of 
attack on that country. He claimed to be the right- 
ful king of Burma, and promised that, if successful in 
establishing his claim, he would present gold aii.^ilvei' , 
flowers annually to the king of Pegu. The attack -v^.as 
made; but the king of Pegu deserted his ally, and' 
married a niece of the king of Burma. Sheng Soabu, 


being dissatisfied with her position in Ava, fled secretly 
to Pegu, and was received by her brother with great 

A.D. 1446. distinction. Biny^ Eankit died after a reign of twenty 

years. He was succeeded by his nephew and adopted 
son, Binya Waru, who was the son of Sheng Soabu by 
her first marriage. He reigned only four years, and 
two other members of the family successively came to 
the throne. The last, Mhoadoa, was a cruel tyrant, 
and he was put to death. All the male descendants of 
Eajadirit having been murdered, the whole people im- 

sheng Soabu, plored Sheng Soabu to take the sovereign power. She 

°^'' consented, and was consecrated. A Buddhist monk, 

who had accompanied her on her"TgttLrn 

tlirew""o5" his"'l^ma^Sc^^Qclc, angi, 

married the cjueen's dau g hter, and was . declared heir - 

^~5pparent, with the title of, _Phamm§,zedi. The queen 

A.D. 1460. reigned for seven years, and Dhammazedi the n suc- 


Constant wars FoT-SSveral ycars war between Burm a an d Pe gu had 

between Buima i t 1 c t • t •?" — 77 ~ — • n 

and the North- ccaseflv J-Q the tormer kingdom, the Monym chief who 

ern Shta chiefs. r ~ . . j -» , a ^ 

reigned with the title or Mengnansi was succeeded 
A.D. 1439. by his son Mengr^ Kyoasw^, who reigned for three 

years. On his death his brother, who had been gover- 
nor of Prome, ascended the throne, and took the title 
of Bureng Narlbadi. These kings were constantly en- 
gaged in war with the Northern Sh§,n chiefs, and par- 
ticularly with the SoabwS, of Mogaung. Taungu had 
long successfully resisted their authority, but a Shjin 
chief — Tarabya — was for a short time placed in that 
state as governor or tributary king. Suddenly an un- 
looked-for danger threatened the king of Burma. A 
Chinese invasion Chinese army appeared on the frontier. The com- 

of liunna, , i i . - tut /-t-. -« r . 

mander, haLtmg at Muangmo (Burmese Mamgmo), on 
the ShwelS river, sent to Ava three hundred horsemen, 
with a message requiring payment of tribute, as had 
been rendered by the kings of Pugan. Mrabadi refused, 
on the ground that since the foundation of Ava no such 


demand had been made. The Chinese then came down 
to Bamoa, and the king advanced with his army. The 
Chinese now ordered that the Soabw^ of Mogaung, 
named Thong^nbwS., should be surrendered to them. 
This was refused, and a battle was fought, in -which ^.b. ,444. 
the invaders were defeated. In the following year the 
Chinese returned in great force and marched down to 
Ava.^ They renewed their demand that the chief 
should be surrendered. The king, in evident imitation 
of a supposed service having been rendered in a previous 
reign, before a former similar requisition had been 
complied with, suggested to the Chinese general that 
he should subdue the chief of Eamethen, who was in 
rebellion. This service having been performed, the 
Mogaung chief would have been surrendered, but he 
took poison and died. His body was then delivered 
to the Chinese, who carried it off. A few years later 
the Chinese again marched to attack both Monyin and 
Mogaung, but were defeated. The reason of these 
attacks is not satisfactorily explained, but they pro- 
bably arose from the determination of the Ming dynasty 
of China, which had succeeded the Mongolian, a,d. 1368, 
to assert a right of sovereignty over the Shan chiefs in 
the country of the northern Irawadi. King Nar^badi 
was frequently involved in wars with the Shan states, 
and also with Taungu, where he failed, notwithstanding 
great efforts, to establish his authority. His son raised 
a rebellion, in which the king was wounded. He fled 
to Prome, where his second son was governor, and there a.d. 1468. 

In Pegu Tfe n.Tnmf i wpdi r n irrn r .d . iii peace for the long Lo ng and Tieace- 
ppTJod of t hirty-one years . Though brought up f rom DhamSIzedi in 
early youth in the seclusion of a Buddhist monastery ^^"' 
until he wa.s_ mnrp. than forty vears of age, he reigned 

^ The circumstances here re- (apparently the same name as 

corded have some resemblance to Thonganbwfl,), fled to Sagaing, and 

the events of a.d. 1332-33, when was on demand given up to the 

the chief of Mogaung, Sugn^mpha Mongolian general. See chap. vii. 

Burma reduced 
ill power 


with dignity and wisdom ; bis moderation reconciled to 
his rule the diverse interests of the grandees of the land. 
Embassies were sent to bim from the neighbouring coun- 
tries and from Ceylon. Though he made no wars, yet he 
extended the boundaries of the kingdom eastward, and 
after death he received the funeral honours of a Chak- 
rawartti or universal monarch. The strict observances 
of Buddhism were in his case disregarded, and a pagoda 
was built over his bones, which was crowned and gilded 
as for an object of worship. He was succeeded by his 
son, who took the title of Binya Ean, and enjoyed 
among his subjects the respect and love which belonged 
to a grandson of Sh^ng-SoabuT 
Kingdom of DuTing this pcriod, when Pegu hadl^tfom war and 

internal strife, the kingdom of Burma was involved in 
constant struggles with the Sh§,n states to the north, 
and dwindled in territory and power until it equalled 
only one of the inferior of those states. After the death 
of King ISr§,r£Lbadt, his son, Mah^ Thihathura, succeeded 
him. His brother governed at Prome, and scarcely 
acknowledged his superiority. After a reign of twelve 
years, his son came to the throne with the title of 
Thirithudhamma EaJEl. The troubles of the monarchy 
now increased. The king's brothers, who governed at 
Saleng and at Eam^then, rebelled, and his uncle pro- 
claimed himself king of Prome with the title of Thado- 
mengsoa. The Shan SoabwS, of My^du declared himself 
independent, and this brought an unfriendly territory 
nearer to the gates of Ava than the dynasty had yet 
known. The king, apparently to secure the loyalty of 
his eldest son, made him joint-king, with the title of 
MahS, Thihathura. He lived in the same palace with 
his father, and displayed a white umbrella as the sym- 
bol of sovereignty. He died before his father, after 
having been associated in the kingdom with him for 
fifteen years ; and the reign of King ThtrithudhammS. 
E^jS, came to an end after twenty-one years. He was 


succeeded by his second son, who assumed the title of a.d. 1501. 
Maha E§,ja Dibati. 

The state of the kingdom was now desperate. The The chief of 
chief of Monyin took possession of My^du. The kings soroiahe' " 
of Pronie and Taungu combined to attack the city of Burma. 
Sal^. The king called in the chief of Unbaung to his 
assistance, and the allies were defeated. In the north 
Salun,' the chief of Monyin, pursuing his aggressive 
movements, occupied the important province of Taba- 
yin, the ancient seat of the race from which the royal 
family of Burma sprung. He next attacked the chief 
of Unbaung at Bamoa. While so employed the king 
invested My^du, but his force was driven away by 
Shan allies of Salun. After several years of desultory 
warfare, the Monyin chief marched down and took pos- 
session of Sagaing. Then pursuing his course along the a.d. 1523. 
right bank of the Irawadi, and plundering the towns, 
he reached Thayetmyu. While there, Thadomengsoa, 
king of Prome, sent messengers to him, offering, if placed 
on the throne of Ava, to be friendly, and even subor- 
dinate. The agreement was made. The Sh§,n army 
crossed to the left bank of the river at MySd^, and 
marched northwards, while the king of Prome pro- 
ceeded by water. Maha E^j^ Dibati had no army to 
defend his capital, but the chief of Unbaung came to 
his assistance. Some fighting occurred near the city. 
The chief of Monyin was victorious, and, according to 
his promise, placed Thadomengsoa in the palace at Ava. 
He then retired to his own country. The king of 
Prome could not retain his position, and was obliged to 
fly. King Dibati returned to his capital with the chief 
of Unbaung. For two years this unfortunate king en- 
dured his degraded position, when the chief of Monyin, 
determined to crush him, marched to Sagaing, and, 
crossing the river, laid siege to Ava. The city was 
taken by storm after eight days, and the king was killed 
while attempting to escape on an elephant. The Mon- 


yin chief had no wish to reign himself. He placed his 
son, Thohanbw^, on the throne, and returned to his own 

Burmese nobles country. Most of the Burmeso nobles and men of rank 
y aungu. ^^^^ somo to Prome and most to Taungu, which had 
become a refuge for those who were determined not to 
submit to Shan domination. Thohanbw^, though he 
showed a deep hatred to the Burmese race, induced 
E&naung, a Burmese noble, though with Sh^n blood, a 
man of ability, to become chief minister. Against the 
advice of his minister the king determined to attack both 
Prome and Taungu. He saw plainly that the latter state, 
though hitherto insignificant, was becoming a centre of 
power which would be dangerous to himself. It was 
easier first to attack Prome. There Thadomengsoa had 
been succeeded by his son, Bureng Htwe. Thohanbw^, 
with his father, Salun, who brought a large army, 
marched down, besieged and took that town, and car- 
ried the king off towards Monyin. But by a sudden 
burst of treason Salun himself, while on the march, fell 
a victim to a conspiracy of his subordinate chiefs, and 
Bureng Htwe escaped. He returned to Prome, where 
his son had become king, with the title of Narabadi. 
The son basely shut the gates against his father, and 

A.D. 1533. Bureng Htwe died in the adjoining forests. 

Pegu enjoys a During the conflicts which agitated the ancient Bur- 

BmyaEto? mese couutry under Sh^n kings, Pegu enjoyed com- 
parative rest. Binya Pl^u was on the throne, and his 
reign extended throughout thirty-five years. During 
that long period only two instances are mentioned in 
the native chronicles in which he appeared as aggres- 
sive to his neighbours. In one, he made an expedition 
at the head of an army up the Irawadi. In the Peguan 
history it is stated that the movement was intended as 
a pilgrimage to the Shwezlgun pagoda at Pug^n ; that 
no collision with any other power occurred ; and that 
though the king passed Prome with a considerable 
escort, the peaceful nature of his journey was acknow- 


ledged by the king of that state. The other instance 
is not mentioned in the history of Pegu, but is recorded 
in the Mahl Eajaweng of Burma. It is there repre- 
sented that the king of Pegu was jealous of the rising 
power of Taungu, and attacked with a large army the 
fort of Dwarawadi, which the ruler of the latter state 
had built to protect his capital. The Taking army 
was defeated, and though no immediate retaliatory 
move was made, the rulers of Taungu from this time 
treasured up a feeling of hatred against their southern 
neighbour, and only waited for an opportunity to take 
revenge. The character of this king is favourably 
described by European observers. The narratives of 
two Italian travellers who visited Pegu at this period 
have been preserved; and one of them mentions the 
king as a prince " of great magnificence and generosity," 
and " of such humanity and affability, that a child may 
come to his presence and speak with him." Binya 
Ean died A.D. 1526. 

The dynasty which ruled the small territory of 
Taungu was destined before long to become supreme in 
the land of the Irawadi, and the remarkable events 
which led to this revolution will now be traced. 

( 90 ) 


Position and extent of Taungu — Governor appointed by the king of 
PugSn— Governors after the fall of Pugan — Sithu Kyoahteng be- 
comes king — Meng Kylnyo seizes the throne — His son, Tabeng 
Shw^htt, succeeds — Invades Pegu — Takes the capital — Marches 
to attack Prome — Taka,rwutbi dies, and Tabeng Shwfehtl becomes 
king of Pegu. 

Extent 0™'^ Taungu is the name of a province situated in the 
Tiiungu. middle course of the river Paungiaung or Sitang, the 

basin of which lies between the rivers Ir§,wadi and 
Salwin. The extent of this province, when it is first 
mentioned as having a distinct government, was about 
eighty miles from- north to south, with a breadth, includ- 
ing the dependent mountain tracts, of about a third of 
that extent. The greater portion of the original province 
is now British territory. On the east of the valley, 
watered by the Paunlaung, are high mountains, where 
the Karen tribes,- only lately reclaimed from wildness, are 
still numerous. From a remote time they were practi- 
cally independent. The hills on the west seldom exceed 
a thousand feet elevation, and few Karens are now to 
be found there. Burmese colonists from the north and 
Takings from the south, at a time beyond the memory 
of man, occupied the valley, leaving the hills to the 
Karens. There is no tradition of any race having in- 
habited the hill country before the Karens. Until the 
twelfth century of the Christian era, no mention can be 
found in local annals of any event in the province of 


Taungu which can be accepted as historical.^ The 
sovereignty of the land from that time, for about four 
centuries, generally followed the fortune of one or other 
of the two neighbouring dominant states. Narabadi, ooTemor ap- 
the king of Pug§,n, is said to have visited the country ^ngttPug&u. 
in the twelfth century, and to have appointed a gover- 
nor. But the isolated position of the territory rendered 
it difficult of control from a distance, except to a settled 
and energetic power. In two generations, the succes- 
sors of this governor had become independent. War^ru, 
the Shan king of Martaban, is said to have entered the 
province towards the end of the thirteenth century, 
and to have carried away the chief then ruling. But 
that chiefs two sons afterwards established themselves 
in the hills to the west of the river, in a stronghold on 
a projecting point of a hill, called in the Burmese 
language, from its formation, Taungu. When, in after 
times, the capital city was built in the valley on a wide 
plain near the river, the old name was still retained 
among the people. 

After the fall of the Pugan monarchy, the Shan king, Governors after 
Thihathu, who reigned at Panya, sent^ins adopted son, 
Uzana, who was son to the last king of Pugan, to 
govern Taungu. The rulers continued to be for some a.d. 1313. 
years dependent on Ava; but as the power of that 
kingdom declined, that of Taungu increased. When 
Mengn^nsl succeeded to the throne of Burma, the ruler a.d. 1426. 
of Taungu was Soalu. He came to Ava when invited, 
and was received with high distinction. This friendly 
treatment did not conciliate him, and not long after he 
entered into an alliance with the king of Pegu. They 
made a joint attack on Prome, then nominally subject 
to Burma. On his death the king of Pegu, Binya Eankit, J^-»- hs?- 
interfered to place his son Mengsoau on the throne of 
Taungu. After five years he was deposed by the king 

1 See sketch of Taungu history Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. 
by the Rev. Dr. F. Mason, Jour, xxviii,, 1859, p. 9. 



A.D. 1445. 

becomes king. 

A.D. 1485-6. 

Meng Kyinyo 
seizes ttte 

of Burma, who appointed as governor Taraby^, a Shan 
chief. This chief was succeeded by his son, Meng 
Kaurigng^. The kings of Burma in vain tried to retain 
the small state in subjection. An army was sent by 
king MahS, Thihathura to place a new governor, ZsLla- 
thengyan, in authority. Being the king's foster-brother, 
it was hoped he would be faithful to his sovereign. 
But .he soon ceased to remit tribute, and even invited 
the king of Pegu to support him in his rebellion. The 
king of Burma next dispatched an army under a general 
styled Sithu Kyoahteng, who was accompanied by two 
of the king's sons. The governor resisted, but though 
supported by the king of Pegu, he was defeated. The 
princes spared his life, and carried him off to Ava, 
leaving Sithu Kyoahteng as head of this troublesome 

Sithu Kyoahteng soon threw off his allegiance to Ava. 
In the Mah^ E§,j^weng he is described as a man of 
excessive ferocity ; as delighting in the slaughter of 
men, whence he was called " Bilu," or ogre. He 
assumed the title of king, and for eleven years ruled 
after such fashion as a drunken savage miwht. He 
was succeeded by his son, known as Meng Sithu or 
Sithung^, who, expecting to be attacked from Ava, 
sent his wife and children to Pegu, where they were 
received by King Dhammazedi. His reign lasted 
only four years, and he was then assassinated by his 
sister's son, Meng Kyinyo. 

This prince at once took possession of the palace, 
and assumed the title of MahS, Thiri Z^rathura. The 
king of Burma, Dutiya Meng Khaung, sent him a 
white umbrella and other ensigns of royalty, thus 
formally acknowledging the independence of Taungu. 
The descent of Meng Kyinyo through his father, Mah§, 
ThenghkayS,, and through his mother, both from the 
last king of Pug^n, and from the first Sh^n king of 
P^nyl, is set forth in the Burmese history. Whether 


this descent from the ancient kings of Burma was 
capable of proof may adtnit of doubt; but when the 
time came for the claim to be put forth by his son, 
beyond the limit of the small kingdom of Taungu, it 
was acknowledged by the general consent of the Bur- 
mese people. Meng Kyinyo soon became powerful, 
and his alliance was sought by the kings of Pegu and 
Siam, though from border disputes he was occasionally 
involved in hostilities with the former kingdom. Bur- 
mese men of rank, dissatisfied with the Sh^n kings *■■>■ -s^s. 
who reigned in Ava, came and settled in Taungu ; and 
after the Monyin chief had taken Ava by storm, and 
his son ThohanbwS, with strange cruelty persecuted the 
Buddhist monks, there was an extensive emigration, 
and the king of Taungu was looked to as the refuge 
and hope of the Burmese race. He made a league with 
the king of Prome against Ava, in support of a rebellion 
by two brothers of the king, which, however, accom- 
plished nothing of importance. He built the new city 
of Taungu, the rampart and ditch of which existed up 
to a recent period. His long reign of forty-five years a.d. 1530. 
enabled him to consolidate his power ; and dying, he left 
his kingdom to his son Mengtara, or Tabeng Shwehti, 
then only sixteen years of age. 

The young king, though of an impetuous temper, his son 

■, J i -U-Tj. TT J /u- -i- Tabeng Shwiihti 

had great ability. He was proud 01 his position as succeeds, 
representing the ancient kings of Burma, and as the 
recognised champion of the Burmese people. The dis- 
tracted state of what remained of the kingdom of 
Burma under Sh^n kings, and the weakened condition 
of Pegu after the death of Binya Ean, prompted him 
to assert his claims to the ancient monarchy which had 
been destroyed by the Mongolian invasion. He made 
careful preparations, collected arms and embodied men, 
and excited the enthusiasm of the Burmese for the 
restoration of the dominance of their race in its ancient 
seat. Four years were occupied in preparations, and it 
was deemed advisable first to attack Pegu. 


Invades Fegii. In that kingdom Binya E§,a had been succeeded by 
his son, Tak^rwutbi, a youth of fifteen, who passed his 
time in frivolous amusements with bad companions. 
Tabeng Shwehti appeared before the capital of Pegu, 
which was defended by two Sh§,n nobles. They held 
it so obstinately that the invader was obliged to retreat. 
In the following year he again advanced, and the city 
was now defended by many Indian Muhammadans 
with firearms, so that the besiegers were repulsed. It 
Takes tbe was uot Until & year later that Tabeng Shwehti took 
aT fsss-sg. the city, and he was largely indebted for his success to 
the desertion of their master by the leading officers of 
the king of Pegu. Por the first time Europeans now 
took part in the wars of Burma. The Portuguese 
viceroy had sent from Goa a galliot commanded by 
Perdinand de Morales to trade in Pegu. A battle was 
fought between the Burmese and Talaing flotillas, in 
which the former were victorious, and the Portuguese 
commander, who had fought with the Talaings, was 
slain.^ The capital then surrendered. Takarwutbi 
retired up the Irawadi, intending to take refuge with 
his brother-in-law, the king of Prome. The question 
for the conqueror now was, whether it would be better 
to go on and attack Prome, or first to subdue Martaban, 
the second city of the kingdom, which had become a 
great seaport. 

Tabeng Shw^hti's principal general was his brother- 
in-law and kinsman, Kyoahteng NoarahtS,, who at once 
followed up the fugitive king and drove him beyond 
the Peguan frontier. He was received by NS-rS-badi, the 
king of Prome. The general received the title of 
Bureng Naung, as designating him heir to the throne, 
though not appointed Ainsh^meng. It is the title by 
which he is best known. Throughout the reign of the 
young king he was all-powerful in the direction of 

1 The Portuguese in India, by lated into English by Stevens. 
Manuel de Faria of Sodsa. Trans- London, 1695. 


affairs, and, with rare fidelity in that age and nation, 
loyally did his duty. 

It was determined to follow up the king of Pegu to Marches to at- 
Prome. The ambitious designs of Tabeng Shwehti had a.d, 153 
excited the alarm of the king of Burma and of the 
northern Sh^n chiefs. ThohanbwS, led a Sh§,n army to 
repel the attack on Prome. Tabeng Shwfehtt arrived 
there with a strong flotilla, and an army on land, com- 
manded by Bureng Naung. The flotilla captured such 
boats as the king of Ava had brought down, but a de- 
cisive action between the armies was avoided. Tabeng 
Shwfehti either did not feel himself strong enough to 
take Prome, or affairs in the south called for his pre- 
sence there. He suddenly retired down the river with 
his whole force. 

The king of Pegu now called upon his allies to follow Tatarwuitbi 

" , , . , , „, . dies and Tabeng 

the retreating army and restore him to his throne. This shwehts be- 

»,,, „ -. comes king of 

they refused, and the unfortunate king in his despair Pegu, 
entered the delta with a small armed band, and either 
was killed in a skirmish, or died of sickness in the 
jangal. He was the last king of the dynasty estab- 
lished by War^ru. From this time Tabeng Shwfehtl is 
recognised as king of Pegu. His hereditary kingdom, 
Taungu, was ruled by Thingathu, the father of Bureng 
Naung, as tributary king. 



Tabeng Shwfehtl settles the country of the delta — Siege and capture 
of Martaban — Tabeng Shwfehtl consecrated king — Prome besieged 
and taken — Revolution in Ava, where the chief of Umbaung be- 
comes king — Tabeng Shwehti consecrated king of kings — Invades 
Arakan — Invasion of Siam — Retreat from Yuthia — Tabeng 
Shwehti murdered. 

Tabeng Shwehti TABENG SHWijIXt, 
settles the 
country of the 

A.D. 1519, 

Siege find cap- 
ture of Mar- 

on his return to Pegu, arranged for 
the administration of the country. He desired to con- 
ciliate the people, and he appointed Talaing nobles to 
govern the districts. He commenced to repair the 
capital and strengthen its defences. He then prepared 
to proceed against Martaban. The wide territory which 
belonged to that city was governed by an officer styled 
Soabiny^, brother-in-law to the late king of Pegu. He 
lived as viceroy in great state, and had a large armed 
force at his command. Since the opening of trade 
with Europe by the Cape of Good Hope, Martaban had 
become a great port. The Portuguese, who had occu- 
pied Malacca under Albuquerque in the year A.D. 1511, 
extended their trade northwards, and Antony Correa 
concluded a commercial treaty with the viceroy at 
Martaban. Under that sanction they established a dep6t 
where the produce of the country was stored for export 
to Europe. 

Tabeng Shwehti summoned the viceroy- to submit. 
He, distrusting all offers of favour, and relying on the 
support the Portuguese could give him with ships, guns, 


and small firearms, refused compliance. The king of 
Pegu had assembled an army of 130,000 men, with 
hundreds of boats and vessels, large and small. Bureng 
ISTaung was the commander-in-chief, but the king him- 
self accompanied the army, which marched by land *-°- '540. 
from Pegu; the -flotilla conveying stores and provi- 
sions proceeded by sea. Martaban, at that time a popu- 
lous city, but now reduced to the size of a village, is 
situated at the mouth of the river Salwin. On the sea 
face the defence was intrusted to seven ships of Euro- 
pean build, heavily armed, and manned by Europeans 
and Indians, which were moored close inshore. On the 
land side the city was protected by substantial earth- 
works, and a broad and deep ditch which defied assault. 
Bureng Naung saw no means of taking the place, except 
by strict blockade to starve the inhabitants shut up 
therein. Lines of besiegement, therefore, were drawn 
round the city on the land side, while the numerous 
flotilla prevented the approach of relief by sea. On the 
opposite side of the river, where now stands the opu- 
lent town of Maulmein, was a stockade, the comman- 
dant of which deserted his master and served the invader. 
Eor seven weary -months the siege went on. In the 
besieging camp were seven hundred Portuguese under 
Cayero, formerly a naval officer. The viceroy also had a 
band of Portuguese under one Seixas. When affairs be- 
came desperate they left the city. The Burmese besiegers 
were repulsed in several attempts to force their way 
across the ditch and rampart ; but they succeeded in 
setting fire to the ships by means of huge blazing rafts 
of bamboo, set adrift when the tide was favourable for 
floating them to where the ships were moored. In the 
city, famine had reduced the whole population to de- 
spair. The unfortunate viceroy endeavoured to avert 
bis fate by negotiating with the conqueror, and begging 
to be allowed to live in retirement. Under promise 
that his life would be spared, he came out of the city 



with his wife, children, and a numerous body of atten- 
dants, men and women ; but all were without mercy put 
to an ignominious death. Immense booty was obtained 
by the victors, and the city was set on fire and utterly 

Tabeng shwiihti Tabeng Shw^hti took measures for occupying the 

oonseora e . (.Quntry to the eastward of the Salwin. Military posts 
were established on the frontier of the Thaungyin river, 
to watch Zimmfe and Siam. He then returned to Pegu, 
and was solemnly consecrated king according to the 
ancient ceremonies, in the capital. He was careful to 
crown the two great national pagodas at Hans§,wadi 
and Dagun with new Htts ; and while endeavouring to 
secure the attachment of the Taking people, he always 
put prominently forward his claim to Burmese nation- 
ality and sovereignty. 

The king lost no time in pushing his enterprise to 
recover Ava from the Shins. At the close of the rainy 

Piome besieged scason he advanced up the Ir§,wadi to occupy Prome. 

AD. 1541.' In that city Meng Khaung had succeeded his brother 
Nlrabadl, and was tributary to ThohanbwS,, reigning at 
Ava, whose daughter he had married. The army, with 
Bureng Naung as commander-in-chief, marched up by 
the east bank of the river, moving in concert with the 
fleet of boats. Prome was strongly fortified and well 
defended with guns and wall pieces. The plan of the 
invader was, as at Martaban, to reduce the city by 
famine ; and with this object the army was disposed 
round the walls on the land side, while the numerous 
flotilla watched the river face. The king of Burma, 
supported by several northern Sh§,n chiefs, marched 
down to the relief of his son-in-law. The king of Ara- 
kan sent a force across the mountains to operate on the 
flank of the invader. Bureng Naung marched to meet 
the Shin army, and utterly defeated it a few miles to 
the north of Prome. The guns which he brought into 
the field, and which were worked by Portuguese, mainly 


contributed to this victory. The Shans fled to the 
north, and made no farther attempt to save Prome. 
The investment of that city was now resumed. The 
Arakanese force was easily defeated, and only saved 
from destruction by the hilly country, which favoured 
its flight. All help from the outside being thus cut off, 
and the soldiers and citizens exhausted from hunger, 
the king of Prome was forced to surrender. The king, June, a.d. 1542. 
the queen, and the chief officers were massacred with 
revoking cruelty, and Tabeng Shwfehti not being then 
prepared to march on Ava, appointed a kinsman of 
Bureng Naung tributary king of Prome, with the title 
of Thado Dhamma E§,j§,, and returned to Pegu. There 
he sought to atone for the guilt of bloodshed by found- 
ing costly religious buildings. 

The progress of Tabeng Shw^hti in accomplishing Revolution in 
his plan deeply agitated the Burmese people, ihe cuefofunui- 

T 1 • •! * IT c nng becomes 

cruelty of Thohanbwa and his sacrilegious plunder or king. 
pagodas, had made him hated by Sh§,iis as well as 
Burmese. While he was at a temporary palace near 
the capital, a band of conspirators overpowered the 
guards, and, in the language of the Burmese chronicler, 
" the king was seen no more." Sh^n influence was 
still the strongest in Ava, and the chief of Unbaung, 
known as Khun Mhaingng^, was invited to fill the 
vacant throne. He arrived at the city in the same 
year that Prome surrendered. Feeling that the pre- 
sence in that frontier town of a ruler, the representa- 
tive of Burmese ascendancy, was a direct menace to 
himself, he moved down with a Sh^n army aud ap- 
peared before the place during the last month of the 
year. Tabeng Shwehti without delay came to the rescue, a.d. 1544. 
The Sh^ns again were defeated near Prome, and were 
followed up with untiring energy by Bureng Naung. He 
chased them to the very gates of Ava, but retiring from 
thence, occupied the ancient capital, Pug^n. Tabeng 
Shw^htl once more returned to Pegu, being convinced 


that the confederation of the northern Sh§,n chiefs 
was still too strong to be successfully attacked. But, 
as if again to proclaim his right of sovereignty to the 
whole empire, when his army had occupied the ancient 
Burmese capital, he was solemnly consecrated with the 
Tabeng shwttti title of King of kings. The tributary kings of Prome, 

consecrated do ^ o 

King of kings. Tauugu, and Martaban did homage ; and Bureng 
IsTaung was formally appointed Ainshemeng or heir- 
apparent. The monarch now gave his attention to the 
_ internal affairs of the kingdom. The people longed for 
rest after the wars and tumults of so many years, 
but this was not to be while the great object was still 

Invades Arakan. Chauce enabled the king to interfere in Arakan, to 
puTsue his plan of subduing the whole territory for- 
merly dependent on, or tributary to, the ancient mon- 
archy ; and also to take revenge for the assistance given 
to his enemies. The king of that country, Mehg Beng, 
had the sagacity to foresee this danger and prepare for 
it.^ His brother, discontented, had fled to Pegu, and, 
like other royal refugees in the countries of Ind'o- 
China, offered, if placed on the throne of Arakan, to 
hold it as a tributary. Tabeng Shwfehti occupied 

A.D. 1546. Sandoway after the rainy season, and marched' on the 

capital. But the defences were too strong to be 
forced, and as news arrived of an incursion on Tavoy 
by a Siamese force, the invader was glad to make an 
arrangement under which he retired without molesta- 

Invasion of Provoked by the attack from the king of Siam, 

siam. Tabeng Shwfehti determined to invade that country. 

His preparations were on a great scale, and occupied 
him during the greater part of the year. Wear the 

A.D. 1548, close of the year, when the country is dry after the 
heavy rainy season, the whole army was assembled at 

■' See chapter ix. 


Martaban.i The arraBgements for the campaign were, 
as on all previous occasions, under the orders of Bureng 
N"aung. A small body of Portuguese, probably em- 
ployed only as gunners, formed a part of the army. 
They were commanded by James Soarez, who after- 
wards rose to high office. The army crossed the 
Salwin river, and marching in an easterly direction, 
reached the Menam river in its upper course. From 
thence it marched down the river-banks in three 
columns. When nearing Yuthia or Yodaya, the then 
capital, the invaders met with a spirited resistance, 
but after severe fighting forced their way to the 
vicinity of the city. The king of Pegu, as had hap- Retreat from 
pened to him in Arakan, found the defences so strong, 
and by reason of the channels of the river so difficult 
of approach by an army, that, on the advice of Bureng 
Naung, he determined to retreat. The difficulty of 
feeding his large army also contributed to this resolu- 
tion. The Siamese incessantly attacked the retreating 
invaders, thousands of whom were slain or died of 
hunger and disease. Fortunately for the Burmese 
king, the son-in-law of the king of Siam was taken 
prisoner in a skirmish. This led to negotiations, and 
the Burmo-Talaing army was allowed to continue its 
retreat without further attack. The expedition occu- 
pied five months. 

Prom this time the character of Tabeng ShwehtiTabengsuwMiti 
entirely changed. He was still young, being only ""' 
thirty-six years of age, and had reigned twenty. Prom 
being active, diligent, and sober, he gave himself up 
to debauchery, and became incapable of attending to 
public duties. He made a companion of a Portuguese 
youth, a nephew of James Soarez, who supplied him 
with liquor, and became a confirmed drunkard. Bureng 

1 In the history of Siam, this 1543. See Bowring's Siam, vol. i. 
first invasion by the king of Pegu p. 46. 
is stated to have occurred A.D. 


Naung banished this young man from the country and 
assumed the office of regent, maintaining with rare 
fidelity the nominal authority of the king. But not- 
withstanding his moderation and ability, there was deep 
discontent in the country. The Talaings writhed under 
the oppressive rule which forced them to become sol- 
diers and carried them on distant expeditions, in which 
more perished from fatigue and disease than from the 
sword. This hatred of forced service had sunk deep 
into the minds of the people, and the imbecility of the 
king inspired them with hopes of deliverance from a 
foreign yoke. Not long after the remnant of the army 
had returned from Siam, a son by an, inferior wife of 
Binya E§,n, king of Pegu, who had been a Buddhist 
monk, put off his religious habit, roused the people to 
rebel, and took the title of Thaminhtoa E^ma. He 
was joined by many ; but being driven from the vicinity 
of the capital, he retired to the western part of the 
delta, where the difficult nature of the country gave 
him security. Bureng Naung followed him up, and 
took post at a central point to direct operations. A 
Talaing noble, Thaminsoadwut, a scion of the expelled 
royal race of Pegu, who had been appointed governor 
of Sittaung, was so thoroughly trusted that he was put 
in charge of the palace, and of the person of Tabeng 
Shwehtl. The king was persuaded by him to go to 
reside at a country place ; and a report being brought 
of a white elephant having been seen, he was induced 
to go to a secluded spot in the jangal to see the capture 
of the animal. There he was assassinated by order of 
his treacherous guardian. 

The conspirator shut himself up in the town of Sit- 
taung, which was strongly stockaded, and around which 
the whole population of the country was Talaing. He 
at once proclaimed himself king. The city of Pegu 
was at this time held by a half-brother of Bureno- 
Naung, who had the title of Thihathu. He found the 


garrison too weak to support his authority against the 
citizens ; he therefore left and marched to Taungu, 
where the family was all-powerful. Thaminsoadwut 
forthwith came to the capital, where the whole of the 
people rallied to his cause, and he had high hopes of 
restoring the native kingdom. Thus the dynasty estab- 
lished in Pegu as representing the ancient Burmese 
monarchy appeared to be ruined. 

( 104 ) 



Bureng Naung retires to Taungu — The last Talaing king — Bureng 
Naung conquers Pegu — Takes the city of Ava— Conquers the 
ShSn states of the Upper IrS,wadi — Subdues Zimmfe — Religious 
measures — Invasion of Siam and capture of the capital — Opera- 
tions in Zimm^ — Rebellion in Pegu — Expedition to Laos ; the 
queen taken prisoner — Second invasion of Siam — Bureng Naung 
marches into Laos without success — European travellers' account 
of Pegu — Laos becomes tributary under a new king — Revolt of 
the Northern Shtins — A pseudo-relic received from Ceylon — 
Bureng Naung appoints his son to be tributary king of Zimmfe — 
Preparations to invade Arakan — Death of Bureng Naung. 

Bureng Naung BuEENG Naung, in Spite of his great name and the 

retires to 

Taungu. power he wielded, was for the moment vanquished by 

the overwhelming events of a few weeks. But many- 
influential officers, Burmese, Talaing, and Shan, still 
trusted the ability, the generosity, and the fortune, of 
the designated successor to the throne. Finding the 
bulk of the Talaing population hostile, he determined 
to retreat to Taungu, where he might gather strength 
to retrieve his position. He marched past the city 
with only a small force, his reputation protecting him 
from attack, and made direct for his native city. His 
father had died two years before, and his half-brother 
Thihathu shut the gates against him. He retired to 
a position on the skirt of the mountains, and, undis- 
mayed, watched his opportunity to strike a blow. 

The last In the capital Thaminsoadwut by his cruelty soon 

Tulaing king. 

alienated the goodwill the Talaings had felt for a chief 


of their own race. The other claimant to the throne, 
Thaminhtoa, driven from the delta, had gone to Marta- 
ban, and there collected round him a large body of men, 
undisciplined, but devoted to him. He was secretly- 
invited by the Taking leaders to come to the capital. 
A battle was fought between the rival kings near the 
city, in which Thaminhtoa was victorious. The other, 
who had occupied the palace for about three months, 
though he escaped from the battlefield, was taken 
prisoner and beheaded. The conqueror was consecrated 
king according to the ancient ceremonies, and is re- 
cognised in the Talaing chronicle, under the title of 
Zaggall Meng, as the last representative of a native 

In the meantime many chiefs with their followers 
had joined Bureng Naung at his camp. He forced the 
surrender of the city of Taungu ; pardoned his brother ; 
and was consecrated king of his native land as his 
father's successor. He next determined to occupy 
Prome, where another of his brothers^ who had been 
tributary king under Tabeng Shwehti, had been driven 
out by a local insurrection. He marched across the 
hills, retook Prome, and reinstated his brother as tribu- 
tary king. The country up the Irawadi as far as 
Pugan also submitted to him. His design was, as 
the lawful representative of the ancient kings of 
Burma, to drive the Shan usurper from Ava ; but he 
deemed it prudent in the first place to conquer Pegu. 
He returned to Taungu, from whence the capital, 
Hans^wadi, was more accessible, as he had no flotilla 
to hold the great river in an advance by that route. 

Bureng ISTaung marched south with an army, not Burong Naung 
numerous, but well appointed, towards the close of the Td.'^^s^i^. °^"' 
year. Thaminhtoa disdained to shut himself up in the 
capital, and met the invader in the field a short dis- 
tance to the north of the city. A fierce battle ensued, 
in which the native king was defeated and fled. Bureng 


Naung entered the city on the following day. Un- 
wearied in his determination to stamp out rebellion, 
he two days later started in pursuit of the fugitive. 
Driven from the delta, the last Taking king reached 
Martaban by sea in an open canoe. After three 
months' hiding he was taken prisoner and put to death. 
Bureng Naung appointed one of his many half-brothers 
tributary king of Martaban. He himself assumed the 
title of king of kings, and was consecrated with great 
solemnity, while his eldest son was declared heir- 
apparent, with the ancient designation among Hindus 
and Buddhists of Yuva 'RkjL A new palace was com- 
menced at the capital of Pegu, which, when completed, 
exceeded in extent and magnificence any building that 
had been raised in these countries, and which excited 
the wonder and admiration of European travellers. 

While engaged in these works for his own glorifica- 
tion before his people, the king incessantly prepared 
for the invasion of Ava. The power of the Sh§,n mon- 
archy had fallen low. Thohanbw^, by his cruelty, and 
still more by his impiety, had incurred the hatred of 
Sh§,ns and Burmese. After his death his successor, 
Kunmhaingng^, had authority only in a small extent 
of territory round the capital. A son of the Sh§,n 
chief of Monyin occupied Sagaing, and proclaimed 
himself 'king there. Kunmhaingng^ reigned for three 
years, and was succeeded by his son, who, feeling his 
helplessness, fled to Bureng Naung. The Shan chief 
at Sagaing then occupied Ava, and assumed the title 
of Narabadt. 

There appeared no strength in Ava capable of resist- 
ing Bureng Naung. He sent an army of observation 
up the Ir§,wadi, under the command of the heir- 
apparent, during the rainy season. But the prospect 
of a powerful king being established in Ava made the 
Sh§,n chiefs for a time curb their mutual jealousies, and 
renew their league against the common foe. Large 


bodies of men appeared at Tarukmyu and other towns 
on the river to oppose invasion, and the reconnoitering 
army did not advance beyond Pug^n. The king, seeing 
the formidable resistance to be encountered, spared no 
exertion to ensure success. An immense army was raised, 
and a flotilla of war boats and transports for provisions 
numbering fourteen hundred. The army advanced in 
two columns — one by the line of the Ir^wadi, accom- 
panying the flotilla ; the other, with which was the king 
himself, by the valley of the Sittaung river on Taungu. 
The heir - apparent was left at the capital as his 
father's deputy, and precautions were taken on the 
frontiers to guard against attack from Arakan and 

The army marched after the rainy season. The flotilla Takes the city 
had been dispatched earlier. The king had a bodyguard a.d. 1554. 
of four hundred Portuguese, dressed in uniform and 
armed with arquebuses. The main body advanced to 
Eamfethen, and from thence — all except a corps under 
the king of Taungu — inclining to the left, debouched 
upon the great river at Pugsln, where the flotilla soon 
after arrived. The king of Taungu, continuing to 
march north, met with little opposition, and entrenched 
himself in the neighbourhood of P^nyS,. Bureng Naung, 
for some reason not explained, crossed to the west bank 
of the river, and marched northward, crossed the Hkyen- 
dwin river at Amyin, and then appeared with his whole 
army and flotilla at Sagaing, opposite to Ava. There 
was no force capable of meeting him in the field, and 
he communicated with his brother near P§,ny^ to make 
a combined attack on the city. The king of Taungu 
issued from his entrenchment, and was at once attacked, 
though feebly, by the Shan king of Burma. The Sh^ns 
were defeated and retired into the city. Bureng Naung 
now crossed the river and the city was invested. Prom 
his numerous army and great flotilla he held complete 
command of the river and the country ; while, from the 



Conquers the 
Shan states of 
Mie Upper 

dejected temper of the garrison, and the hatred the 
citizens bore to the Sh&n king, a stubborn defence was 
not looked for. In a few days a general assault was 
made, and Ava fell to the conqueror. The Shan king 
Marcii.A.D. I5S5. -vras made prisoner and sent to Pegu. Bureng Naung 
determined to continue the city of Pegu as the capital 
of his empire, and made his brother tributary king of 
Ava, with the title of Thado MengsOa. He himself 
remained at Ava for some months, watching the move- 
ments of the northern Sh§.n chiefs ; but the season 
being too advanced for operations in the field, he re- . 
turned to Pegu. He built a new fort near his southern 
capital, and gilded his father's pagoda at Taungu. He 
also opened communication with the king of Ceylon, 
and sent rich offerings to the holy tooth relic in that 

An opportunity soon occurred for carrying out the 
plans of the king of kings against the northern Shan 
chiefs, and this was facilitated by the characteristic 
jealousies and dissensions of those rulers. The chief 
of Umbaung having died, a dispute arose in the family 
as to the succession. The chief of Mon^ interfered, 
and one claimant appealed to Ava for assistance. 
Bureng Naung without delay proceeded with his 
whole court to Ava. There a large army was as- 
sembled. In a few months he had overrun the whole 
of the country of the Upper Irawadi, as far as the 
Patkoi range, which separates Burma from Asam. 
His soldiers, though born and nurtured in the tropics, 
urged on by his spirit and example, chased the fugitive 
Sh&ns into the mountains on the north-east, amidst 
the region of snow. The two most, powerful chiefs, 
Mogaung and Monyin, swore fealty to the king of 
kings, and religious reforms were introduced to bring 
the worship of the Sh^n people into conformity with 
the Buddhism of Burma. The practice which existed 
of sacrificing an elephant, a horse, and even slaves, at 

A.D. 1537. 


the funeral of a chief, was strictly prohibited, and from 
this time appears to have ceased. 

Bureng Naung returned to Pegu, but the following subdues zimm^. 
year had to punish the states of Thiboa and Monfe. 
From the latter he marched on to Zimme, the chief of 
which had assisted that state. The country presented 1 
grave difficulties, but the city was reached after forty- ; 
five days of arduous march. The king was compelled 
to surrender his capital and swore allegiance to the 
invader. He agreed to pay an annual tribute of ele- 
phants, horses, silk, and other products of his country. 
An army of occupation was placed at Zimme to enforce 
the treaty and watch the frontiers of Siam and Leng- 
zeng or Laos.^ The conqueror then returned to Ava. August, a.d. 
He at once commenced to settle the taxation payable '^' ' 
by the people of Burma, and received the homage of the 
chiefs of the country east of Bamoa up to the frontier 
of China. They were excused from paying tribute, 
probably from dread of offending the emperor of that 
country. While thus employed, news was brought that 
the king of Laos or Lengzeng was gathering a force to 
attack the Burmese army in Zimm^. The king of Ava 
was at once sent with reinforcements, and the attack 
having been repelled, he was recalled. Bureng ISTaung 
then proceeded to Pegu, where he arrived at the begin- May, a.d. 1559. 
•ning of the rainy season. 

The kinw of kings, ambitious of being esteemed the Religious 

... . T inp-r»iii* measures. 

greatest upholder of religion m the world 01 Buddhism, 
had already laid the foundation of a pagoda at his 
capital, and the work was now continued. Supposed 
holy relics were deposited in the interior chamber, with 
golden images of Buddha, of his disciples, and of the 

^ Lengzeng is the Burmese name Viengohang, and Lantohiang. See 
for what was the chief city of Laos, Captain W. C. M'Leod's Jour- 
situated on or near to the Melcong nal, p. 39 ; Travels by Louis de 
river, a considerable distance below Carne, p. 125 Travels by Mou- 
Kiang Kheng. The seat of gov- hot, vol. ii. p. 141 ; and Bowring's 
ernraent appears at different peri- Siam, vol. ii. p. 8, note. 
ods to have beSn Luang Phrabaug, 



A.D. 1562. 

Invasion of 
Siam and 
capture of the 

royal family. Following up the measures of reform 
which he had carried out in Shdnland, he prohibited 
the sacrifice of animals by the Muslim population of the 
city, and induced a number of those foreigners to profess, 
at least outwardly, the doctrine of the three treasures. 
The kings of Burma, though rigidly enforcing the 
observances of Buddhism by their own subjects, have 
generally been tolerant towards foreigners, and this is 
a solitary instance of an apparent departure from the 
rule of non-interference with the religion of strangers 
settled in the country. 

The empire was at peace for three years. After- 
wards, about the middle of the year, some of the 
small states east of Bamoa made attacks on Momit, 
which was tributary to Burma. Bureng. Naung was 
convinced that they were instigated from China, and 
sent an army into the hill territory watered by the river 
Tapeng, to punish the aggression. Eeligious reforms 
were now introduced into this country, and measures 
were adopted for the entire subjection of the chiefs to 
Burma as the dominant power. 

The king of kings, notwithstanding his power and 
glory, felt keenly the want of one distinctive mark in 
popular estimation of a great Buddhist sovereign in 
Indo-China — the possession of a white elephant. The 
king of Siam was known to have four of these vene- 
rated animals, and an opportunity was taken of some 
cause for dissatisfaction with that ruler, arising from 
events on the frontier, to send a demand that one of 
them should be given up. An ambiguous reply was 
returned, which the haughty monarch resented as a 
refusal, and determined to punish as an insult. An 
immense army of Burmese, Sli§,ns, and Takings was 
collected, and divided into four great corps, under the 
command of the heir-apparent and the three tributary 
kings. Instead of marching from Martaban, as in the 
invasion of 1548, the several corps assembled at Taungu 


and other places on the Sittaung after the rainy season.^ *•!>■ -ses- 
The army marched on Zimme, and from thence down 
the valley of the Menam to the capital, Yuthia. The 
city was invested. Three Portuguese ships, which were 
moored near shore and supported by batteries, were 
taken, and the hing of Siam, disheartened at this loss, 
surrendered. The defeated king, his queens, and his M'^"'"''. *■"• 
younger son were carried away as captives, while the 
elder son, styled Br§,mahin, was made tributary king. 
The conqueror then set out on his return, and deter- 
mined to punish the king of Zimm^, who had failed to 
present himself on the arrival of the invading army. 
But hearing that a rebellion had broken out in Pegu, 
Bureng Naung hastened back, leaving his son in com- 
mand. On reaching his capital, he found that many of 
the fine buildings he had erected had been burnt by the 
rebels. These were rebuilt, and a new palace, surpass- 
ing the former one in magificence, was commenced, but 
not finished until three years later. This palace is 
mentioned by European travellers as composed of an 
extensive group of grand pavilions " as big as an ordi- 
nary city," having the roofs of some apartments covered 
with plates of solid gold. No doubt the three white 
elephants brought from Siam were housed in some of 
these pavilions. 

In the meanwhile, the heir-apparent had not acted operations in 
with vigour against the king of Zimme, who had fled 
eastward, and was sheltered by the king of Lengzeng. 
Bureng Naung determined to proceed himself to direct 
operations. He left the capital, and proceeded to Labong, November, 
near Zimmfe. A large force marched with him, which *'"' '^ *' 
included many Indians and four hundred Portuguese as 
gunners. The petty chiefs of the Yun tribe were ready 
to continue the struggle for independence, but the king 

1 In the history of Siam this said to have numbered goo,ooo 
invasion is stated to have occurred men. Bowring's Siam, vol. i. p. 
in 1547. The Burmese army is 49. 


Bebellion in 

Expedition to 
Laos. The 
queen taken 

A.D. 1565. 

of Zimmh voluntarily submitted, saying he did not wish 
to reign longer. Detachments of troops were sent 
through the country to put down opposition. 

While the king of kings was thus engaged, a rebel- 
lion broke out in Pegu, headed by a Sh^n captive named 
Binya Kyan, in which thousands of Takings joined. 
They marched on the capital, where the officers in 
command became panic-stricken. The deposed king of 
Burma, N4r§,badi, who was in the city, pointed out that 
the rebels were a mere unarmed rabble. He was intrusted 
with a force, at the head of which he issued from the 
city and defeated the mob of peasants. Bureng Naung 
on hearing of this outbreak hastened back to his capital. 
On seeing that many of his fine buildings outside the 
city walls had been burnt, he was so enraged, that, with- 
out entering the city, he went on to D§,la to hunt down 
the remnant of the rebel body. Thousands were taken 
prisoners, and the king intended to enclose them all in 
a vast temporary building of bamboo, and burn them 
and their families alive according to Burmese law. On 
the intercession of the Buddhist monks he pardoned all 
except the leaders. 

The Yuva Eaja after the departure of his father con- 
tinued operations against the Yun chiefs in the country 
east of Zimmfe. He followed them in pursuit across 
the Mekong river, and at length the chiefs, or those 
who still held out, were driven to shut themselves up 
in the town of Maingzan, by which name the Burmese 
probably mean a fort near the Laos city Viengchang. 
The king of Lengzeng was in the stronghold with his 
family. The place was captured, but the king escaped 
in the confusion. Bureng Naung ordered the army to 
return, leaving a strong garrison in Ziraiah, and the 
Yuva E§,j§, reached the capital of Pegu in October. The 
queen of Lengzeng and many prisoners of high rank 
were brought in. 

For three years there was a pause in the wars and 


commotions which had so long disturbed and devastated 
the country. The king of Lengzeng still gave trouble 
to the Burmese officers in the territory of Zimme, but 
his son-in-law came in and made his submission. 
Everything looked promising ; the capital of Pegu was 
a scene of splendour exceeding all known in its past 
history ; and trading ships from Europe, from India, and 
from Malacca, freely entered the seaports. With con- 
tinued peace the country might soon have recovered the 
terrible loss of population, and decrease of agriculture, 
which the incessant wars in distant countries had 
caused ; but those wars, and the hostile occupation of 
the conc[uered countries, rendered lasting peace impos- 
sible. An indulgence granted, it may be, from a gene- 
rous feeling towards a fallen enemy, hastened the catas- 
trophe, which probably it was hoped might, by showing 
confidence, be averted. The deposed king of Siam had 
become a Eah^n, and was permitted to go to his own 
country to worship. His son, who had been his com- 
panion in captivity, died, and his widow was allowed to 
return home with her children. Br^mahin, the tributary 
king, when there were no hostages for his loyalty, soon 
began to take measures for asserting his independence. 
In this he was supported by his father, who abandoned 
his monk's habit, and secretly influenced events with 
authority, if he did not openly assume it. Bureng 
Naung at once made preparations for another invasion 
of Siam. The brother-in-law of the tributary king, who 
was governor of Pitsalauk, a stronghold on a branch of 
the Upper Men^m, refused to support the revolt, and second inva- 
held his post for the king of kings. Bureng Naung oc"ober/*"' 
collected a vast army, which, including followers, may *'°' '^^*' 
have numbered two hundred thousand men, and march- 
ing from Martaban, relieved the fort of Pitsalauk, which 
had been besieged by the Siamese. He then moved 
down to attack the capital, after having made arrange- 
ments to hold the country of the Upper Menam. The 




y ^ 


A.D. 1569. 

CapituI taken. 

Bnreng Naimg 
marches into 
Laos without 

Siamese were determined to make a desperate defence, 
and the invader could only hope to reduce the city by 
famine. After four months no effect had heen pro- 
duced, but the old king died. Br^mahin made offers 
of surrender, which, with unusual candour, were not 
accepted, though the Burmese army had suffered im- 
mense loss. The king of Lengzeng approached to relieve 
the city. Bureng Naung, leaving his most trusted 
officer, Binya D41a, in command, proceeded himself with 
half his force to meet the king of Laos, who was defeated. 
The invader then returned to renew the siege. Affairs 
had become very serious, and he had recourse to stra- 
tagem. One of his Siamese adherents, a noble of high 
rank, pretending to desert, entered the city with irons 
on his legs. He was received with joy by Br§,mahin, 
} and appointed to a high command. Through his trea- 
i cherous machinations one of the city gates was opened, 
and the besiegers entered in the night, after a siege of 
seven months.i The city was given up to plunder. 
The unfortunate Bramahin was made prisoner, and 
either was put to death or committed suicide. The 
king of kings remained in Yuthia for two months, and 
appointed Thaungkyi, a member of the Zimmh royal 
family, tributary king. 

Bureng Naung sent back by the nearest route to 
Pegu all sick and disabled men, with the plunder he 
had reserved and prisoners of importance; but with 
untiring energy he determined himself to follow up the 
king of Lengzeng. He proceeded with his hale and 
un wounded men to Pitsalauk, and from, thence directed 
the march to the north-east of the several divisions of 
his army. In a few days he followed, and encamped 

^ In the history of Siam the 
prominent events of this invasion 
and siege coincide with the account 
given in the Burmese history ; but 
the date assigned for the capture 
of the city is 1555. The Venetian 
traveller Caesar Fredericke, who 

was in Pegu and the neighbouring 
countries apparently from 1567 to 
1569, places the "coming home 
of the king" from this war in 
1569. By the Burmese history he 
arrived home in 1570. See Bow- 
ring's Siam, vol. i. p. 51. 


on the right bank of the Mekong opposite Maingzan. 
Some of the divisions passed the river higher up and 
moved down the left bank. As Bureng Naung was 
prepared to cross by a bridge of boats, the enemy eva- 
cuated the city. The place was made a dep6t for stores 
and for the sick, the king of Taungu being placed in com- 
mand, and Bureng IsTaung himself marched in pursuit 
of the enemy. The king of Laos was too wary to come 
to an engagement, and the invaders were soon wearied 
by long marches in a mountainous country, and by 
want of food. They returned to Maingzan thoroughly 
exhausted, and the whole army recrossing the Mekong, 
marched back to Pitsalauk. Bureng Naung, pushing on June, a.d. 1570. 
to his capital, arrived there a month later. Of the ori- 
ginal army which marched against Siam, very few men 
survived to reach their own country. 

As if to atone for the demerit incurred by having European tiavei- 
caused the deaths of so many thousands of beings, Pegu.°° "° 
Bureng Naung on his arrival made costly offerings to 
the pagodas. He also gave his attention to foreign 
trade, and built a ship of his own, which he sent to 
Ceylon and to ports of Southern India. At this period 
the Venetian traveller Caesar Predericke describes, as 
translated in Purchas' "Pilgrims," how "the king 
sitteth every day in person tp hear the suits of his 
subjects, up aloft in a great hall on a tribunal seat, 
with his barons round about," while on the ground, 
" forty paces distant," are the petitioners, " with their 
supplications in their hands, which are made of long 
leaves of a tree, and a present or gift, according to the 
weightiness of their matter." And, adds the traveller, 
" the king of Pegu hath not any army or power by sea, 
but in the land, for people, dominions, gold .and silver, 
he far exceeds the power of the Great Turk in treasure 
and strength." This is as strong testimony to the 
magnificence of the king of kings as is to be found in 
the pages of the MahS, ES,jS,weng. 


Laos becomes Jq tj^e year following the return of Bureng N"aunw 

tributary under "^ ° . . « tJ> 

a new king. there was a disturbance in the territories of Mogaung 
and Monyin, but it was suppressed without difficulty. 
Soon after, the king's great enemy, the king of Leng- 
zens, was killed in an attack he made on a town be- 
longing to Cambodia. One of the prisoners who had 
been brought from Laos was Ubarit, brother to the 
deceased king. He consented, if placed on the throne 
of his native country, to be tributary to the Burmese 
monarch. An expedition was therefore sent under 
Binya D§,la. It was unsuccessful, and Bureng Naung, 
who never forgave a failure, either put to death the 
unfortunate general, hitherto a special favourite, or 
sent him into exile to a sickly place, where he soon died. 
The levy of another army to carry out this project was 
commenced, but the people, and even those in high 
office, murmured loudly, and the expedition was post- 
poned. But the king of kings was not to be entirely 

A.D. 1574. thwarted in his grand designs. After the rainy season 

he himself led an army, with Ubarit in his retinue, to 
Maingz§,n. From that post he issued a proclamation 
that he had come to place the rightful heir on the 
throne. He then departed, leaving some troops with 
the tributary king. The object of the expedition was 
attained. The nobleman who had usurped the throne 
of Laos had become hated, and was delivered up, 
together with his son, by his own officers. Ubarit was 
received by the people as king ; and the Burmese com- 
manders, rejoicing to quit a country where they gained 
neither fame nor riches, returned with their prisoners 
to Zimme. 

Revolt of tiie- While affairs in Laos were prospering, another march 

northern Shaus. -.j- • t in- r r Gi 

to Monym and Mogaung had become imperative. 
These restive states had refused to join the last ex- 
pedition to Lengzeng, and were in open revolt. Bureng 
Naung proceeded from' Maingz^n to Ava, from whence 
he marched north against the rebellious chiefs. The 


prince of Monyin -was killed, but the ruler of Mogaung 
fled; and though the royal troops followed in rapid 
pursuit to a tract of country where there was only 
snow for water, he was not captured. Bureng Naung, 
while still engaged in that northern region, had the 
usurper from Laos and his family forwarded to him as 
an exhibition to the northern ShS,ns of his success and 
power. But the desired effect was not attained, and 
the king of kings, recalling his son and the other 
officers from the pursuit, returned to his capital. The July. a.d. 1576. 
young chief of Mogaung was, however, afterwards sur- 
rendered by some of his own officers, and was ungener- 
ously exhibited in fetters of gold at one of the gates of 
the city. Many of his officers were cruelly sold as 
slaves to foreign merchants, who carried them beyond 

At the very moment of his return to Pegu, Bureng a pseudo-rehc 
Naung received intelligence which gratified his reli- cT/im. 
gious aspirations, and enhanced his glory as a Buddhist 
king throughout Indo- China. He had long been in 
communication with a Buddhist ruler in Ceylon, appar- 
ently Dharmapala, who reigned at Colombo, and pro- 
fessed to be a Christian, having the baptismal name of 
Don Juan.^ Two years before, a Sinhalese princess 
had arrived, and had been received with high honour, 
though the Portuguese historian asserts, that the lady 
sent was only a daughter of the chamberlain. Now, at 
an auspicious moment, when the king of kings returned 
triumphant from war, a ship arrived from Ceylon at 
Bassein, with the holy tooth of Goadama Buddha. As 
the season was unfavoairable for the ship to sail into 
the gulf of Martaban, a deputation of the highest 
nobles in the land was sent to receive the precious 
relic. They bore a golden vase, adorned with the 

^ His authority was confined to will left the king of Portugal heir 

Colombo, his grand-uncles having to his kingdom. Tennent'a Cey- 

poasession of the rest of his domi- Ion, vol. ii. p. 13. 
nions. He died a.d. 1581, and by 


richest geilis, the spoil of Vanquished kings, in which 
it was deposited, and brought to the royal presence. A 
letter was also received from Dharmapala, in which 
he announced that he was the only orthodox king of 
four, who ruled in the island. It may be doubted 
whether Bureng Naung really believed in the genuine- 
ness of the relic, bub the possession of a pseudo-tooth 
which his many millions of subjects believed in, was of 
the highest importance. Indeed, the first- and imme- 
diate good result was the surrender of the young chief 
of Mogaung, which was attributed to the occult infl.uencei 
of the holy tooth, in favour of its royal custodian and 
worshipper. So munificently did he reward the king 
of Colombo, that, according to the Portuguese historian, 
the king of Kandy offered him a true daughter and 
tooth. The real tooth, which had been taken at Jaffna 
in 1560, had been destroyed by Don Constantine, the 
Viceroy of India, although Bureng Naung had then 
offered a sum equivalent to ^^41,000 sterling to ransom 
it. But, as stated by Faria y Sousa, two teeth were 
set up instead of that one, and the king of Pegu was 
now content with that he had secured. 
Bureng Naung In Order to Strengthen his position towards 'Leng- 
to be'trfbuta?™ zeug, Burcng Nauug appointed his son, Tharlwadi 
M^^h, A.™i'^78. Meng, who had shown great ability, tributary king of 
Zimmfe. When he had left for his kingdom, the king 
his father, as if foreseeing future troubles, enjoined him 
to remember that he would owe allegiance to his elder 
brother, the Yuva E^jS,. He received the title of ISToa- 
raht^ Zoa. In the following year it was necessary once 
more to send aid to Ubarit in Lengzeng. The heir- 
apparent was sent to support the king of Zimm6, and 
the expedition was successful. From this time Laos 
as a tributary state is not mentioned in Burmese 
Preparation to The great king of kings had now subdued all the 
countries which had occupied his attention during 


many years. Instead of resting and giving relief to 
his subjects, he turned his glance on Arakan. He 
determined that the king of that country should be 
reduced to the position his ancestors had held towards 
the ancient kings of Burma. A large fleet of vessels 
of various sizes was collected, in which an army 
amounting, with the crews, to eighty thousand men, 
was embarked. The fleet happened to be met by some 
Portuguese ships which were cruising near Cape Negrais. 
The Viceroy being then at war with Pegu, probably on 
account of the king's interference ia the affairs of 
Ceylon, the ships attacked the Peguan or Burmese 
fleet, which they estimated at thirteen hundred sail. 
The Portuguese took some of the enemy, but were 
obliged to withdraw on account of the great number 
opposed to them. The Burmese fleet then continued 
its course, and the army disembarked at a point on the 
southern coast of Arakan, where the men were landed 
and marched to Sandoway. There the Burmese army November, 
remained inactive for twelve months. Probably Bureng *'"' '^^°' 
Naung intended to lead the march on the capital, but 
found his health unequal to the exertion. To the last, 
he had not abandoned his design against Arakan, for 

DO ' 

reinforcements were sent on. The Burmese history October, 
states that he deputed ambassadors to the Emperor 
Akbar. This may possibly refer to messengers having 
been sent to the governor of Bengal after that province 
had been conquered by Akbar's general in 1 576, and 
the object probably was to ascertain whether his occu- 
pation of Arakan would be viewed as an act of hostility 
to the Mogul emperor. But the plan of conquest of Death ot 

1 J. Bureng Naung, 

Arakan was suddenly frustrated by the death of Bureng November, 
Naung, after he had reigned for thirty years. 

( I20 ) 



Successor of Bureng Naung — Establishes his authority in Burma 
proper — I'ailure of invasion of Siam — Desolation of Pegu — The 
tributary kings revolt — The city of Pegu besieged — The supreme 
king taken prisoner and put to death. 

Successor of On the death of Bureng Naung, his eldest son, the 
Biareng Naung. Yuva E§,ja, succeeded to the throne without dispute.^ 
He at once recalled the army from Sandoway. His 
uncles, the kings of Prome and Taungu, came to Pegu 
and did homage, as also did the king of Siam. His 
uncle the king of Ava, Thadomengsoa, made excuses, 
and communicated with the kings of Prome and 
Taungu, endeavouring to draw them into a league for 
becoming independent of the supreme king. They dis- 
closed the intrigue, and the supreme king suspecting 
that many of his officers had -joined in a conspiracy 
against him, caused them, their wives, and children, to 
i.D. 1583. be burnt to death. This dreadful scene was witnessed 

by Gasparo Balbi, a Venetian merchant, who was in 
Pegu, and feelingly mentions his " great compassion 
and grief that little children, without any fault, should 
suffer such martyrdom." 
Establishes his The Supreme king now marched on Ava, being joined 
Burma proper, with their f orccs by the kings of Prome and Taungu. 
Advancing up the valley of the Sittaung river, the army 
May, A.B, 1584. encamped near P3,nwa. A battle was fought, in which 

^ In the Talaing chronicle this GnS su D4rag4, and is surnamed 
king is called Nanda Bureng. In Taungu Yauk Meng, from having 
the Mah4 RSjaweng he ia styled been carried as prisoner to Taungu. 


the uncle and nephew, each on his elephant, with a 
small body of followers, engaged in fierce combat. 
Though the elephant which the supreme king rode fell 
exhausted, the rider instantly mounted another and 
gained the victory. The king of Ava fled from the 
field, and escaped over the Chinese border, where he 
died soon after. The supreme king at first appointed a 
governor to Ava, but before long his son, Mengre Kyoa- 
sw^ was made tributary king. 

During this war the conduct of Byanarit, king of Faiim-e of 
Siam, was first suspicious, and then openly hostile. He '"^^^'"""f^"*™- 
had been summoned as a vassal to attend his superior 
with his army. He appeared on tlie frontier near Sit- 
taung, and the Yuva Ei,jS., who was regent during his 
father's absence, directed him to march on Ava. Instead 
of obeying this order, he came near the capital of Pegu, 
and hovering about, menaced an attack. Hearing, 
however, of the victory of the supreme king, he re- 
tired to Martaban, and carried off from thence a 
number of the inhabitants into Siam.i A force under 
the Yuva EajS, was sent to avenge this insult. The 
expedition was hastily planned and badly conducted. 
In marching down the banks of the Meni,m thp 
Yuva E^ja was attacked by Byanarit, and forced 
to retreat with heavy loss. To retrieve this disaster 
the supreme king himself led an army, which invested a.d. 1587. 
Yuthia. But the son, though brave, lacked the great 
administrative qualities which had distinguished his 
father. The arrangements for the army were utterly 
defective. Thousands died from want and exposure. 
No hope of success remained, and a disastrous retreat 
was made. The king reached his capital with a small June, a.d. 1587. 
escort. With unreasoning obstinacy, he, three years 
later, sent an invading army into Siam under the 
Yuva E^ja. This force was destroyed by incessant 

^ These events appear to be re- having occurred A.D. 1 564. Bow- 
ferred to in the history of Siam as ring's Siam, vol. i. p. 52. 



J February, a.d. 
: 1593- 

Desolation of 

The tributaiy 
king's revolt. 

A.D. 1596. 

attacks from the Siamese under the valiant Byanarit. • 
The supreme king, with blind fury, once more dis- 
patched an army under his son, with orders to take 
the Siamese capital. The Yuva E§,jl penetrated near 
to Yuthia, but was defeated and killed in battle. The 
supreme king put many of his most loyal officers to 
death, and trusted none. The tributary king of Ava 
was appointed Yuva EIji, but was unable to moderate 
the cruelty of his father, who even slew many Buddhist 
monks of Taking race. Thousands of people abandoned 
their country and fled, and the delta — the richest part 
of the kingdom — became depopulated from war, famine, 
and migration. The king, of Siam advanced with an 
army to Martaban. He was moving 'on the capital ; 
but hearing that a force was on the way from Taungu 
to attack him, he retired to his own country. A 
number of Talaings went with him. 

The king of Prome now rebelled against his father, 
and marched to take possession of Taungu during the 
absence of his brother, who had gone to defend the 
capital. He failed to enter that city, but carried off 
many head of cattle. The supreme king was aban- 
doned by all who might have supported him. He had 
alienated his whole family except his younger brother, 
Ngyoung Eam Meng, who had succeeded Mengrfe 
Kyoaswi, as tributary king of Ava, and still remained 
faithful. But though he professed allegiance to the 
supreme monarch, he rendered no active support. The 
king of Zimmfe no longer abided by the injunctions of 
his father. The king of Taungu leagued with the king 
of Arakan, who possessed a powerful fleet, and the son 
of the latter, Meng Khamaung, brought a large force 
and took possession of Syriam, near to Dagun, and 
then the principal seaport of the delta. The nominally 
supreme king had no means of resistance to this 
aggression. The king of Taungu sent an army down 
the valley of the Sittaung, under his son Nat Sheng- 


naung, and, with the Arakanese fleet, Hans§,wadi, the 

capital of Pegu, was invested. The city was sur- The city of Pegu 

rendered, and the supreme king, the son and successor supreme' king 

of the great Bureng Naung, was ignominiously sent aid piS™""^'^ 

prisoner to Taungu, where, not long afterwards, he was December, a.d. 

secretly put to death. The king of Taungu returned '^''" 

to his own dominion with the principal part of the 

plunder. The prince of Arakan received a portion of 

the treasure, with a white elephant, and one of the 

princesses of the family of the supreme king. He 

returned to his own country, leaving a garrison to hold 

Syriam ; and the capital of Pegu, on the buildings of 

which Bureng Naung had lavished the gold and silver 

reft from the conquered countries, was left a heap of 


The warlike king of Siam again appeared in Pegu. 
He desired to gain possession of the person of the 
supreme king; but this being impossible, he retreated 
to Martaban. He made a Taking chief king of that 
province, with the old title of Binya D^la ; and Bya- 
thabaik was made tributary king of Tavoy. Thus the 
great empire of united Pegu and Burma, which a 
generation before had excited the wonder of European 
travellers, was utterly broken up ; and the wide delta 
of the Irawadi, with a soil fertile as Egypt, and in a 
geographical position commanding the outlet of a great 
natural highway, was abandoned by those who might 
claim to represent the ancient rulers, and left to be 
parcelled out by petty local chiefs, and European adven- 

( 124 ) 



The king of Arakan occupies Syriara— Philip de Brito appointed 
agent to the king — Seizes the port — Is supported by the Portu- 
guese Viceroy of India — The king of Arakan attacks Syriam and 
is defeated— De Brito offends the Talaings by his evil deeds— 
Ngyaung Ram Meng, king of Burma, son of Bureng Naung — His 
son, Maha DhammS Raja, destroys Syriam and reigns in Pegu. 

The king of The fate of Pegu was for the moment decided by the 

Arakan occupies '^ ^ , . 

Syriam. presence of Portuguese adventurers, who swarmed m 

Arakan and the neighbouring countries.^ The king of 
Arakan at this time was Meng E§,jagyi, who had taken 
the Muhammadan name of Salim Shah.^ His son, 
Meng Khamaung, had commanded the fleet and army 
which co-operated with the king of Taungu in the siege 
of the capital of Pegu. The prince, when leaving to 
return home with the booty he had acquired, placed a 
garrison in the port of Thanhlyin, called by Europeans 
Syriam. It was at that time the principal seaport of 
the kingdom, and remained so until superseded by 
Eangoon. The king of Arakan determined to retain 
Syriam, but saw that as the Portuguese had command 
of the sea, he cordd not safely do so without their con- 
currence. Too proud openly to ask for their assistance, 
he sought to obtain it by means of one of their own 
countrymen who was in his service. For some years 
there had been in Arakan a young Portuguese, origi- 

■• See chapter xviii. from the Portuguese historian, who 

^ That this king was known by has written it Xilimixa. 
this name to foreigners is evident 


nally a shipboy, who had served as a menial in the 
palace, and was trusted by the king as a faithful 
servant. His name was Philip de Brito and Nicote.^ piniip de Brito 

TT iTiT* r> I t T T J} appointed agent 

±le was sent by the king of Arakan to have charge or to the king, 
the custom-house at Syriam, and to represent the king 
with his own countrymen. The commandant of the 
garrison was an Arakanese. He had no authority over 
the Portuguese inhabitants, who were guaranteed the 
enjoyment of their own laws. De Brito appears gradu- 
ally to have formed the plan of becoming master of the 
town and port. He got permission to build a custom- 
house of brick ; a fort was afterwards constructed as a 
protection to the custom-house; and by the boldness 
of a Portuguese officer, Salvador Eibeyro, the Arakanese 
commander was expelled from the settlement. De Brito no Brito seizes 

TT r^ *^® port. 

was now supreme as governor. He went to Goa to seek 
from the viceroy authority to hold the town under him. 
During his absence the king of Arakan sent an army 
across the mountains under the expelled commandant, 
who was also joined by some troops sent by the king 
of Prome. They came down the Ir^wadi and invested 
Syriam, and being joined by a large body of the Tal- 
aing population, continued the siege for eight months. 
Eibeyro was acting governor, and determined not to 
surrender. To prevent his countrymen from thinking 
of escape while suffering from hunger, he bftrnt three 
ships he had in the port. At length relief was sent by 
the viceroy, and the investing force withdrew. Eibeyro 
took prudent measures to conciliate the Taking chiefs, 
who now offered to accept de Brito as king of Pegu. 
He, in the meantime, had married the viceroy's niece 
and returned to Pegu with the title of captain-general. 

1 The story of this adventurer -the letters of the Jesuit Fathers 

is told in De Sousa's History, vol. Boves and Fernandez. One of 

iii. , and in the native histories these Fathers states that he went 

of Arakan and Burma. He is from Arakan to Pegu with De 

mentioned in the narrative of the Brito in A.D. 1600 (Purohas' PU- 

Hollander traveller Ploris, and in grims, vol. ii. p. 1746). 


Is supported by He had with him six ships, and proclaimed his recep- 
vlceroyofindL tion of the kingdom in the name of his sovereign. 
He put the fortifications in order, built a church, and 
marked out "the limits of the city, which, with prudent 
management, might have become the capital of a great 
province under the crown of Portugal. 
The king of Ara- The king of Arakan was not disposed to allow his 

kan attacks ° .... 

syriam and is former scrvaut to remain quietly in his usurped posi' 
tion; but knowing that de Brito was now supported 
by the viceroy, he temporised, and sent him a compli- 
mentary message. De Brito forwarded a rich present 
to his former master. But this false courtesy on both 
sides, was soon changed to open war. The king of 
Arakan entered into a league with the king of Taungu, 
and sent a force to Pegu under his son Meng Kham- 
aung. The army, embarked in several hundred vessels, 
approached Syriam, and the Arakanese flotilla was at 
once^attacked by a few Portuguese ships commanded by 
Pinnero. The Arakanese were defeated, and the prince 
was taken prisoner and carried to Syriam. De Brito 
had the good feeling to treat the son of his former 
master with great respect. Nevertheless, he demanded 
a ransom of fifty thousand crowns for his release. The 
king of Arakan, sooner than submit to these terms, 
r determined to make another attempt to take the port. 

Leagued with the king of Taungu, they brought a more 
formidable host to the attack by land and sea. Pinnero 
gallantly went out to fight the assailing vessels, but 
failed, and perished by blowing up his own ship rather 

A.D, 1604. than be taken prisoner. The allied force was unable 

to capture the town, and the king of Arakan having 
paid the ransom demanded, the young prince was 

De Brito offends DeBrito was now secure. The Talaing chiefs sought 

the Talaings by ,...,_ . • , t . „ 

his evil deeds, his iricndship, and even the king of Taungu entered 
into alliance with him. Bassein and all the western 
side of the delta was independent. But de Brito's son, 


Simon, married a daughter of Binya D§,la, the king of 
Martaban, who was tributary to Siam, and the Portu- 
guese interests were thereby secured in that important 
province. The captain-general, however, instead of en- 
deavouring to conciliate the native population, from 
prudent self-interest, if not from a sense of justice, 
by showing respect to their religious feelings, wantonly 
outraged them. The native historians, Burmese and 
Talaing, record with intense bitterness that the pagodas 
round the city of Pegu were dug into and plundered of 
the golden images, and precious stones, which Bureng 
Naung bad enshrined in those fabrics. The people, 
deeply moved at this sacrilege, murmured among them- 
selves that their race and religion would be brought 
to an end. The perpetrator of these outrages vainly 
sought to strengthen his government by pressing Bud- 
dhists to become nominal Christians ; for the Portuguese 
historian speaks of a hundred thousand converts to 
Christianity. While the foreign intruder, by his arro- 
gance and oppression, was digging a pit for his own fall, 
a power was rising in the country of the upper Ir^wadi 
which was destined to avenge his deeds of injustice. 

After the destruction of the capital of Pegu, and when Ngyaung Eam 
the supreme king had been carried as a captive to Burma, boo of 

„ -,. 1 ,1 ~KT -r» liir Bureng Naung. 

Taungu, his younger brother, INgyaung JKam Meng, 
refrained from interfering in the affairs of the lower 
country, and sought to establish his own authority in 
the ancient kingdom of Burma. The country in the 
valley of the Iri,wadi to the north of Pugin submitted 
to him. His nephew, the king of Prome, seeing danger 
to himself in this consolidation of power, determined to 
invade Ava, but was assassinated by one of his own 
officers, who then declared himself king of Prome. 
Ngyaung Eam Meng having strengthened the defences 
of his capital, marched against the chiefs of Mogaung 
and Monyin, who had refused to pay tribute. He was 
unsuccessful in this expedition, but punished the chief 

A.D. 1608. 


of Bamoa, and extended his authority along the Upper 

Sittaung to Eam^then. The next three or four years 

■were occupied in subduing the Sh§,n states, including 

the two strongest, which before had repulsed him, and 

A.D. 160S. while so employed, the king died. 

Hisson Mah4 jje was succecded by his son, who took the title of 

destroys sy- Mah^ Dhamm^ B.kiL His father, when on his death- 

riam and reigns '' i t i i 

in Pegu. bed, had solemnly charged him to re-establish the em- 

pire of Bureng Naung, and to recover Prome without 
delay. The northern and eastern Sh§,n states had at 
this time been brought under control, but it was not 
until three years later that Prome was taken, after an 
investment of eight months. The usurper's life was 
spared, and the king appointed his own brother gover- 
nor of the town. He then returned to Ava, and received 
friendly messages from the kings of ■ Aralcan, Taungu, 
and Zimmfe, who saw that he was likely to become 
master of all. He next marched against Taungu. The 
king of that state, named N^tsheng, was the son of him 
who had taken the capital of Pegu. He agreed to be-, 
come tributary to his cousin, and yielded some of his 
family as hostages of his fidelity. By this act he broke 
faith with de Brito, who, with the king of Martaban, 
led an army to Taungu and made N§,tsheng] prisoner. 
They plundered the city, burnt the palace, and then 

The Burmese king determined to punish this insult to 
his authority, and at once prepared to attack de Brito in 
his stronghold. His arrangements were made with great 
care, as he knew the enterprise would be one of difH- 
culty ; but he would allow of no delay, and sending 
forward all his forces by land and river on their way 
to Pegu, he himself left his capital early in December 
of the same year. Before the close of the year the 
Burmese hosts had gathered round Syriam by land and 
water. The king was chiefly anxious that the hated 
de Brito should not escape, and all the outlets oh the 




sea-coast were vigilantly watched. The Portuguese 
governor, though he had been so recklessly aggressive, 
was utterly unprepared to resist attack. He was short of 
powder ; he had lately allowed many of his Europeans to 
go to India; and had only one hundred Portuguese in the 
garrison. ^ The plan of the Burmese king, who had no 
guns to batter the fort, was by strict blockade to starve 
the inhabitants ; and so effectually was this performed, 
that after thirty-four days de Brito sent to beg mercy. 
No answer was given. The king of Aralcan sent a fleet 
of fifty boats, hoping yet to recover his authority in the 
port, but these were all taken by the besiegers. At 
length a Talaing chief in the town, opened one of the 
gates, and the besiegers entered at night during the 
first week of April. De Brito, the sacrilegious wretch a.d. 1613. 
who destroyed pagodas, as is remarked in the Burmese 
history when his punishment is related, was impaled on 
a high stake before his own house, and so lived for three 
days in dreadful agony. Most of the leading Portu- 
guese were executed, and the remainder, as well as de 
Brito's wife, and many of mixed race, were sent as 
slaves to Ava. Their descendants are still to be found 
there, and are known as native Christians. The Burmese 
kino- took care that de Brito's son Simon, who was at 
Martaban, should not escape, and he was put to death. 
The king of Taungu, no doubt, was similarly disposed of, 
though it is said he died a natural death. A few days 
after the surrender, five ships laden with arms and 
powder, sent by the viceroy from Goa, arrived to relieve 
Syriam. Somewhat later a ship belonging to de Brito's 
wife came in from Achin laden with provisions. All 
but one of these were taken by the victors, and the 
fortune of Maha Dhamma Eaj^ prevailed on every side. 
The king of Martaban submitted, and for the present 

^ The siege of Syriam is de- duct of de Brito as well as his 
scribed in detail by Faria de neglect to provide against an 
Sousa, who condemns the evil con- attack. 


was allowed to continue as tributary king. The king of 
Siam had sent a force to watch events, which advanced 
to Ye. But that kingdom coiild no longer contend with 
jv.D. 1605. Burma. The warrior-king Byanarit had died at Zimmfe, 
when he was believed to be on his march to attack Ava. 
His brother, who succeeded him, reigned only five years, ' 
after which a disputed succession and civil war, kept the 
Siamese employed at home for some years. 

( 131 ) 



MahS Dhamm^ Kdj^ recovers the empire of Bureng Naung — Com- 
munication with India — Thado DhammS, Eaja succeeds — Ava 
again made the capital — Bengtald succeeds — Refugees from 
China enter Burma— Maha PawarS. Dhamma K^jS, succeeds to 
the throne — A junior member of the royal family made king 
— Decline of the empire — ^Reign of Maha DhammS. Raja Dibati — 
Invasion from Manipur — Rebellion in Pegu — Mengtara Buddha 
Kfethl elected king of Pegu — Prome taken by the Talainga — 
Abdication of the king of Pegu — Binya Dala elected king of 
Pegu — War carried on languidly — Grand invasion of Burma — 
Ava captured. 

After the capture of Syriam the king of Burma estab- MaM Dhammfi 
lished himself in a camp near the city of Hans^wadi. the empire of 
He was determined to recover the whole dominion which ""^^''^ ^""^' 
had been ruled by his grandfather. Towards the end a.d. 1615. 
of the year he marched to Martaban, from whence he 
sent a body of troops under his brother, which occu- 
pied Tavoy, and a detachment was sent to the town of 
Tenasserim. The latter place was defended by some 
Portuguese in the service of the king of Siam. They 
had four galliots, from the fire of which the Burmese 
suffered considerable loss, before they could enter the 

The king next turned his attention to Zimm^. The 
great Bureng Naung had made one of his sons tributary 
king of that state. On the death of TharS,wadi Meng, a r. 1578. 
his three sons disputed the throne, and the youngest, 
Thadogyoa, apparently by acknowledging the supre- 
macy of Siam, was successful. The king, in pursuance 


of his plan to restore the empire, marched on Zimme 
from Martaban, and reached that city in the summer. 

A.D. 1615. Thadogyoa made but a feeble resistance, was taken 

prisoner, and being a traitor, is no more mentioned. 
Most of the leading officers of the state were sent 
prisoners to Pegu, and the king remained there for a 
year, settling the country, and devising measures for 
further operations.' He prudently abstained from in- 
terfering with Laos, and returned to Pegu, leaving one 

A.D. 1616. of his sons as governor with the title of Mengrfe Dippa.^ 

He again took up his abode in camp, and when the city 
had been thoroughly put in order, entered it towards the 

A.D. 1617. end of the year. He diligently attended to the affairs 

of the kingdom, appointing Burmese, Sh^ns, and Tal- 
aings to administer the districts. Burma proper, Prome, 
Taungu, and Zimme, were governed by tributary kings 
or viceroys; Martaban and Tenasserim by governors; 
and Pegu was under the direct government of the 
supreme king himself. 

conimimication Accordiug to the Mah§, Eai§,weng, an ambassador 

with India. ° 00' 

arrived from the emperor of India, Jehangir, and at 
the same time an envoy or agent from the governor 
of Bengal. He brought a letter, written apparently in 
the Persian language, and was received with great 
honour. There is no distinct statement as to what 
were the objects of this mission, but it is probable 
that they had reference to contemplated action against 
the Portuguese adventurers and the Arakanese, who 
troubled the south-eastern districts of Bengal. In 
order more readily to protect those districts, the seat 

1 In Purohas' " Pilgrims," vol. letter from one William Methold, 

V. p. 1006, is the story of an it appears that his property was 

Englishman, named Thomas given up by order of the king, 

Samuel, who had been sent to vi'ho signified his desire that the 

Zimmfe from Siam "to discover English should trade with his 

the trade of that country." Being country. An order to that effect, 

there when the city was captured, " written on a palmitto leaf," was 

he with all other strangers was car- brought to Masulipatam in April 

ried to Pegu. He died ; but in a 1619 by two Englishmen fromPegu. 


of the Bengal government had been removed to Dacca, 
and Ibraham Khan was appointed governor. But a.d. 1618 
no further measures were then taken to assert the 
supremacy of the emperor over the districts east of 
the Megna near its mouth.^ The supreme king him- 
self sent an envoy to the viceroy at Goa, making 
explanations as to Syriam, and offering to assist the 
'Portuguese against the Arakanese. The viceroy sent 
a return mission, but no result followed. The sultan 
of Achin likewise sent an envoy, desiring to form 
an alliance against the Portuguese. These advances 
showed that the neighbouring rulers felt that Maha 
Dhamma Pw§,ja had restored the power of the king- 

During the remainder of this king's reign no great 
public events are recorded. He continued to hold his 
court at the ancient capital of Pegu. His younger 
brother, Mengre KyoaswEi, was tributary king in Ava. 
Another brother, Thado Damm^ E^ja, was tributary 
king in Prome. The supreme king himself occasion- 
ally held his court in Ava. Some of the Shan states 
at intervals gave trouble, and an expedition against 
Kyaing Hung or Yun was made, the chief of which 
state had withheld payment of tribute. The king 
sincerely desired to do justice to all. A handsome 
bell was cast and hung at the palace gate, on which 
was an inscription in the Burmese and Talaing lan- 
guages, exhorting complainants to strike the bell and 
the king would hear their cry.^ Yet this beneficent 
king met his death in consequence of a palace scandal 
in which his own son was concerned, and who, in the 
words of the Burmese chronicler, " committed an un- 
utterable crime." The deed was perpetrated at a 
temporary palace on the west bank of the river of 
Pegu, from whence this king is now best known as 

' See chapter xviii. history of this bell, see note at the 

'"' For the curious subsequent end of this chapter. 


Anaukphet Lwun Meng, or the king who passed away 
on the west side. 

ThadoDiiamma At the time of his death his two brothers, Thado 

Eajaeucceeds. jy^^^^g -^g^g ^ud Mengr^ Kyoasw^, Were employed 
in settling affairs with the chief of Kyaing Yun. The 
son, styled Mengr^ Dippa, was born of an inferior 
woman, and the nobles were averse to acknowledge 
him as king. As great delay was likely to occur in 
the arrival of the brothers, to prevent disturbance he 
was consecrated. The two tributary kings, on learning 
the death of their brother, marched rapidly to Ava. 
Though deeply suspicious of each other, they joined 

March, a.d. their forces together. They reached Tknjk, and found 
that a son of Ngyaung Earn Meng had already been 
appointed governor of Ava. Thado Dhamm^ E§,j§, now 
took post at Tarukmyu, while the other brother pro- 
ceeded to meet an army which was marching up from 
Pegu to fight them, but with the leaders of which 
Mengrfe KyoaswS, was in communication. The soldiers 
of this army were Burmese of the upper country ; 
their famUies were in the power of the two brothers ; and 
they were not well disposed towards the parricide king. 
The king of Arakan had marched an army across the 
hills in support of Mengr^ Dippa, but effected nothing. 
Thado DhammS, E^j^ overcame all opposition at Ava, 
.and entered that city. His brother loyally supported 
him, and he, as acknowledged successor, then marched 
south. Before he could reach the city of Pegu, Mengr^ 

septemiier, a.i.. Dippa had been seized by the commander of the palace 

' ""'■ guard. 

Thado DhammS, EljS, at once assumed the govern- 
ment, but would not then be consecrated. He pro- 
ceeded to Zimm^, and was absent for two years. On 

April, A.D, 1632. his return he was solemnly consecrated king according 
to the ancient ceremonies, in the presence of Burmese, 
Taking, and Shan nobles. This ceremony took place 
in a grand pavilion put up for the purpose, for the 


palace had not been rebuilt since the destruction of 
the city more than thirty years before. Although the 
king sought to conciliate his Taking subjects, a con- 
spiracy among them was discovered. Many were put 
to death and many fled to Siam and Arakan. After 
two years the king proceeded to Ava, and was conse- *•"■ ^^34. 
crated there also. His brother Mengrfe KyoaswS, was 
declared heir-apparent. 

He now decided on making Ava the capital of his Ava again made 
dominions. In celebration of this event he founded a *^^ ""p^'^'- 
great pagoda in the ancient hemispherical form, copied '^-n- 1636. 
from the shape of the dagobas in Ceylon. It is known 
as the Kaungmhudoa, and is on the right bank of the 
Irawadi, about five miles from Sagaing. The king's 
weight of gold was devoted to cast an image of Buddha, 
which was enshrined in the lower relic-chamber.^ It 
is also obscurely hinted that a heavenly messenger 
descended at Taungu and gave a relic of Buddha to a 
holy man, which was enshrined in a second or upper 
relic-chamber. It is not stated what the relic was; 
but Taungu was probably mentioned as the scene of 
this miracle, as being the city from whence the royal 
family had sprung, and partly because the tooth-relic 
received by Bureng Naung from Ceylon, was believed 
to have been carried there from the city of Pegu, by 
the king of Taungu, when he returned with the plunder 
of that place, A.D. 1599. 

The conduct of Thado Dhamm^ E^jS, appears to have 
been irreproachable. Nevertheless his life was en- 
dangered from a conspiracy, the leading features of 
which have been repeated in recent times. The heir- 
apparent having died, his son was discontented that he 
was not appointed to succeed to that office. He sud- 
denly assembled a band of armed desperate men, and 

1 For particulars as to this pa- was not iinished when the king 

goda, see Crawfurd's Embassy to died. The official name of the 

Ava, vol. 1. p. 346, and Yule's pagoda is K^i^ Muni Sula. 
Mission, Appendix B. The work 



A,P. 1648. 


Refugees from 
China enter 

forced his way into the palace. The king fled by the 
western gate, and took refuge in a monastery. He 
then crossed the river and entered a stockade near 
Sagaing, which was guarded by soldiers. The rebel 
prince having no influence in the country, a large body 
of men rallied round their sovereign. The prince came 
out of the city and was killed fighting. The king then 
returned to his palace, and all the men of rank who 
had been forced to join the rebels were with their 
wives and children burnt as traitors. Thado Dhamm^ 
ES-ja died after a reign of nineteen years. He is called 
in the Burmese history S^lwun, because he increased 
the territory he had received from his father ; but this 
was in the outlying Shan states rather than in the 
provinces constituting the wealth and strength of the 

He was succeeded by his son Bengtal^, siirnamed 
Gn§,htap darag^, who completed the great pagoda begun 
by his father. IsTot long after this pious duty had been 
performed, alarming reports reached the capital from 
the Chinese frontier, where armed bodies of men ap- 
peared to threaten an incursion into Burma. To under- 
stand this hostile movement it is necessary to refer to 
events in China.^ 

Early in the seventeenth century, Tienming, chief of 
the Manchu Tartars, had commenced to attack the 
Chinese empire, and dying in 1627, left his conquests 
and his designs to his son Tientsung. Hwaitsong, the 
last emperor of the Ming dynasty, in despair committed 
suicide in 1643, and Tientsung dying soon afterwards, 
his son Shunchi became emperor in 1644. The Bur- 
mese history represents that the son and lawful succes- 
sor of Hwaitsong was Yunhli ; and on the death of his 
father he assumed the title of emperor, and established 

^ Du Halde'e China, vol. i. p. History of the two Tartar Oon- 
226, London, 1638 ; Modern querors of China, by Pfere P. T. 
Universal History (China), p. 299; d'Orleans (Hakluyt Society, 1854). 


himself at Nankin. Being driven from thence, he retired 
to Yunnan, and retaining the title of emperor, demanded 
the revenue from the Shan states west of the Salwin river. 
This alarmed the Burmese court, as denoting a revival 
of the superiority exercised by the Mongols nearly 
four hundred years before. Troops were sent to Thinnl 
and to the Upper Shwelfe, where Chinese officers had 
appeared and demanded payment of tax. They with- 
drew without enforcing compliance, but in 165 1 a 
similar demand was made in the state of Kyaingyun. 
A Burmese force was sent there under the king's 
brother, and an action occurred with Chinese troops, in 
which the Burmese were defeated. These encroach- 
ments were made by the adherents of Yunhli; but 
gradually there were signs of the appearance of more 
powerful enemies. To add to the terror of the Burmese 
court, earthquakes and storms, which were believed to 
portend disaster, began to occur ; while to every eye in 
Ava, two suns, typical of rival emperors, shone in the 
sky. So threatening were the omens, that the king, 
following an ancient custom, built a Tabengdaing 
palace, in which was placed his eldest daughter, ready 
to be presented to appease the wrath of a conqueror. 
In 1658 the pseudo-emperor Yunhli, being driven out 
of Yunnan by the Manchus, fled to Momein.^ the 
frontier town of Burma, on a branch of the Upper 
Tapeng river. He addressed the chief of Bamoa, say- 
incr he desired to take refuge in Burma, and that he 
would present an offering of one hundred viss of gold 
to the king. After some delay he was allowed to pro- 
ceed, and was provided with a suitable residence at 
Sagaing. He had a large body of followers, and an 
officer who had been governor of Yunnan was with him. 
The Burmese history attributes to Yunhli the per- 
fidious design of conquering the country. A Chinese 

1 Sh^n name, Mungmyen ; Chinese, Teng Yvieh. 


army, in two great divisions, entered the country and 
marched, one by the Thinnl route and the other more 
southerly^ on Ava. The invaders plundered and 
cruelly treated the inhabitants. Yunhli being ques- 
tioned, stated that his officers did not know that he 
had become a subject of the king of Burma, and when 
they did they would throw down their arms. The 
Chinese having united in one body, drew near to 
Ava, burning the villages and monasteries without 

May, A.D. 1659. mercy. They attacked the city, but were repulsed, 
chiefly by the good service of 'the native Chris- 
tians, (descendants of the Portuguese captives), who 
served the guns on the walls. They retired, but re- 
turned again later in the year without any defined 
object, and finding a difficulty as to supplies, moved 
southward. It is not likely that these bodies of plun- 
derers entered Burma at the instigation of Yunhli. 
They were probably marauders who gathered in Yunnan 
during the war with the Manchus,' and on the triumph 
of the Tartars saw in the weakness of Burma oppor- 
tunity for plunder.^ 

The occupation of the country by these bands inter- 
fered with agriculture, and a scarcity of rice existing in 

May, A.D. 1661. the city, the people accused the king of indifference 
to their sufferings and of allowing the inmates of the 
palace to profit by the sale of rice which was stored 
therein. The king's brother, the prince of Prpme, 
headed the insurrection, took possession of the palace, 
and the king and his family were sent away and 
drowned in the Hkyengdweng river. The prince fol- 
lowed up the Chinese, and by the end of the year they 
had been driven out of the country. 

Maha Pawava Ti^e prince of Prome was consecrated king, with the 

succeeds to the title of Maha Pawara DhammS, Eaj^. He appointed 
new governors to all the districts of Pegu, where, during 

' See remarks in Anderson's Expedition to Western Yunnan, p. 20. 
Calcutta, 1871. 


the trouMes in the north, there had been signs of rebel- 
lion. Suspicious of Yunhli, he determined to separate 
his followers from him, though they were much reduced 
below their original number. He assembled them at a 
pagoda, on pretence of swearing them to bear allegiance 
to him. Yunhli was also summoned. He and the 
Chinese ofi&cers, thinking they were to be put to death, 
snatched swords from Burmese soldiers, and in the 
scuffle which ensued, all but Yunhli and some of his 
family, were killed. Only one month after this tragedy 
a Manchu general appeared with an army ; he was 
unopposed, and encamped at Aungpengl^, a day's march 
from the capital. He announced his terms in the 
stern words, " Give Yunhli or take war." The pseudo- 
emperor and his family were surrendered without delay. 
In the Burmese history there is a persistent attempt to January, 
justify the slaughter of the Chinese and the surrender 
of Yunhli, because of the designs of the refugee against 
the kingdom. But there is no sound reason for believing 
in the truth of the accusation. He was taken to Pekin 
and put to death by strangling. According to Du Halde, 
his wife and children had become Christians. They 
persevered in the faith, and were allowed to live at the 

While the king of Burma was harassed by his 
Chinese enemies, the southern provinces had become 
disturbed. The Siamese had many adherents in Mar- 
taban, and that city was for a time in the hands of 
Taking insurgents. Towards the close of 1662 a 
Burmese force reoccupied the place, and also Tavoy, 
but Zimmfe fell to the Siamese. Two years later the 
people of Zimme forced the Siamese garrison to retire, 
and the Burmese once more entered. The king having 
survived through a period which threatened the down- a„. 1672 
fall of the throne, left the kingdom at his death in a 
better position than it had been since the death of his 



A. junior mem- 
ber of the royal 
family made 
king, MaM 

Decline of the 

A.D. 1698. 

Reign of MahA 
Dhamm^ K^j4 

His son ISTarawara succeeded him, but died within the 
year. The nobles then consulted as to his successor, 
and, passing over several elder princes, selected the 
youngest son of the prince of Prome, who was pro- 
claimed king, with the title of Sri Pawara Mah^ 
DhammS, 'R^jL His elder brothers and other members 
of the royal family showed signs of active opposition 
to the young king, and many of them were secretly put 
to death by the party in power. 

This king reigned for twenty-six years. From the 
absence of powerful enemies, internal and external, the 
kingdom, under vigorous rule, might have been restored 
to the position it had under Ngyaung Earn Meng and 
his son. But the young king, as years passed, showed 
no qualities fitted to rule an empire. Though the 
monarchy suffered no great disaster, its power gradually 
declined. The chief of Manipur occupied the Kubo 
valley without any real effort being made to check the 
encroachment. Other outlying districts were lost. The 
king, devoid of energy, failed to assert the power of the 
kingdom, and dying, was succeeded by his son, who did 
nothing to retrieve the losses which had occurred. The 
reign of the next king, Hsenghpyu Sheng, lasted thirty- 
five years, and is only remarkable for the further de- 
cline of the monarchy. A Burmese army was defeated 
on the frontier of Manipur, and a force which had been 
sent to occupy Zimme was driven out. An uncle of the 
king, Pugan Meng, indignant that his nephew should be 
under the control of a palace faction, raised a rebellion, 
but was overpowered and fled to Pegu. He passed a 
wandering life among the Karens and other border 
tribes ; and his son, nurtured in hardy mountain life, 
was destined to achieve for a short time a high position, 
while his career had a mysterious ending. 

The son of Hsenghpyu Sheng took the title o^ Mah§, 
Dhamma E§,j§, Dibati. The Manipuri people advanced 
into Burmese territory, destroying villages and pagodas 


in tlie district of Tabayln. They retired rather to carry invasion from 
on their plunder than to avoid meeting a Burmese force. 
Two years later they again invaded Burma in great 
strength, and defeated an army sent against them. So 
threatening was the danger, that a strong stockade was 
built at Sagaing, and one to defend the Kaungmhudoa 
pagoda, as all Buddhist buildings were destroyed by 
these Hindoo invaders. They marched down by the 
route between the Mu and Ir^wadi rivers, and took by 
assault the stockade at the pagoda, but could make no 
impression on that at Sagaing. After four or five days 
they retired to their own country. It is probable that 
they retreated because they were unable to cross the 
great river ; but in the Burmese history it is stated that 
they had come to fulfil a prophecy of their great Brah- 
man, that if their chiefs bathed in the Ir^wadi at 
Sagaing, all evil would cease in their country. Their 
object apparently was plunder, and not permanent con- 

The long -continued degradation of the Burmese Hebeiuon in 
monarchy prompted a rising in Pegu. The immediate ^°"' 
result of this revolt was surprising by its unexpected 
success ; but the final consequence was a revival of 
Burmese power under a new dynasty. It will be 
interesting briefly to revieAv the condition of Pegu at 
this period. After the removal of the seat of govern- 
ment from Han§£lwadi to Aya by Thado Dhammsi 
Eaj^, A.D. 1634, the Talaing chronicle seldom mentions 
events occurring beyond the limit of Pegu. The suc- 
cessive appointments of Burmese governors are noted 
with sullen monotony, and the only interest shown in 
passing events, is in the record of damage to the national 
pagodas from storm or lightning, which appeared to 
show the displeasure of the powers of nature, or tute- 
lary genii, with foreign rulers. There was a deep con- 
viction among the Takings that the guardian angel 
of their ancient city demanded the residence of the 


king within the walls ; and Hsenghpyu Sheng had been 
persuaded to try and restore prosperity to the land by 
living there. But he was soon wearied with life in a 
ruined city, and returned to Ava. The people of Pegu 
in this reign sunk to the depth of misery. Nothing 
escaped taxation. Even the women's looms were not 
free. The same rigid exactions were continued in the 
next reign. The governor, Maung Th§, Aung, was in- 
tensely hated ; yet he sought to make himself indepen- 
dent, and seeing his opportunity in the confusion during 
the incursion of the Manipuris, he proclaimed himself 

A.D. 1740. king of Pegu. The leading men among the . Takings 

longed for the ascendancy of their own race, and deter- 
mined to be rid of him. The hated governor was killed ; 
but the leaders seeing as yet no chance of establishing 
the independence of their country, petitioned the king, 
professing their loyalty, and attributing the murder of 
the governor to a sudden rising against his tyranny. 
The king of Burma, waiving punishment for the pre- 
sent, appointed as governor his father's brother, Mengrfe 
Aung Naing. He was deemed an honest man, but 
was received with haughty reserve by the Talaing 
nobles ; and after a few days all his followers were 
massacred. An insurrection commenced among the 
people of the Sh^n colony, whose ancestors had been 
brought from their own country during the wars of 
Bureng Naung, and had been settled to the north of the 
capital of Pegu. They are called by the Burmese, Gwe 

A.D. 1740. Sh§,n. Towards the close of the year they marched to 

the city, and being supported by the Talaing chiefs, 
seized the governor and put him to death. 

Mengtara, There was at this time in the city a man who had 

Buddha KHht -r^ n i, • 1 • • 1 • , m i • 

elected king of been a Buddhist monk, and is said, m the Talaing his- 
tory, to have been by race a Gwe Sh^n. He joined the 
men of his tribe in the city, and was declared king of 
Pegu, with the title of Mengtari, Buddha Kfetht. He 
was supposed by some to be a son of Pug§,n Meng, who 


had rebelled in the reign of his nephew, Hsenghpyu 
Sheng, and had fled to Pegu. The son had been brought 
up among the Karens and Gwfe Sh§,ns, and had made 
himself popular among the Takings, whose language he 
spoke. Whatever may have been his origin, he was 
soon firmly established in power, and by his devotion 
to the people and kindliness of disposition satisfied the 
expectations formed of him. An army had been dis- 
patched from Ava to suppress the rebellion. It was 
commanded by Mengrfe Kyoagaung, but before he could 
reach the delta he was recalled to defend the north- 
western frontier against the Manipuris. The Gw^ Sh^n 
king entered into communication with the chief of 
Zimme, whose daughter he married. The Takings soon 
forced their king, against his own judgment, to march 
against Prome, and the king of Burma, alarmed at the 
preparations against him, made his brother joint king, 
with his palace and court at Sagaing. The Taking 
army, unable to take Prome, marched up by the eastern 
bank of the river, and ravaged the country nearly to the 
gates of Ava. In this rash expedition it was attacked 
by the Burmese from the north and south, and had to 
retreat with great loss. A force sent up the Sittaung 
river was, however, successful in occupying Taungu. 

It would have been well for the cause of Taking 
independence had the leaders of the nation been con- 
tent with making preparations for defence. The occu- a.d. 1743-44. 
pation of Taungu rather weakened their resources, and 
the governor of Prome, Thado Meng Khaung, suddenly 
went down the river and took Syriam by surprise.^ The 
place was quickly recovered, but great loss had been 
sustained, and the country along the river-banks rav- 
aged. The Takings, however, followed up the Burmese Prome taken by 
in their retreat, and succeeded in entering Prome. The ^ ^ ^'"^^' 

^ At this time there was a Bri- this occasion, it is said, by the Fe- 
tish factory at Syriam, which had guans. See Syme's Embassy to 
been re-established about twenty Ava, p. 5, and Dalrymple'a Orien- 
years before. It was destroyed on tal Repertory. 



A.D. 1745. 

A.D. 1746. 

Abdication of 
the elected 
king of Pegu. 

Binya Dal4 
elected king of 

war was now carried on in the valley of the Ir^wadi, 
and in that of the Sittaung, with varying fortune ; and 
at the close of the next year the Takings still held the 
towns of Prome and Taungu. 

In the following year a Siamese ambassador arrived 
at Ava, nominally to express the friendship of his master 
for his brother king, but really to report, from appear- 
ances, what might be the issue of the struggle, and so 
to enable the former to decide what part Siam should 
take. The Takings, probably advised from Siam, made 
a third advance up the Irawadi, but sustained such 
heavy losses that they were compelled to retreat to 
Prome. Soon after an unlooked-for event occurred, 
more strange than any in the changing fortunes of this 
war. The Gwfe Shan king suddenly left his capital, 
attended by ten leading nobles, with an escort of two 
thousand men, and proceeded to the town of Sittaung, 
ostensibly to hunt elephants in the neighbouring forests. 
Shortly after he sent for the queen and her attendants. 
He remained at Sittaung for some months, and then 
announced to the Taking nobles that he had deter- 
mined to retire from the kingdom. They entreated him 
to remain, for he was beloved by the people, but he left 
for Zimmfe, accompanied by his queen and a strong 
guard. His after history may at once be told. Not 
allowed then to remain in Zimmfe, he wandered through 
Laos and Cochin-China, and entered China. He re- 
turned after some years, and was permitted to settle in 
Zimmfe. The only explanation of this conduct is given 
in the Taking chronicles. It is there stated that the 
Gwfe king was a proficient in astrology ; that casting his 
own horoscope, the result portended disaster ; and that 
in a self-sacrificing spirit he resigned the throne, hoping 
that the destiny of the Taking people might be linked 
with one whose good fortune was assured. 

As soon as his departure was known at the capital of 
Pegu the usual intrigues commenced, and a scribe in 


the palace played for a few days the part of king. But 
among the officers who had accompanied the Gwe Meng 
to Sittaung one was pre-eminent in ability. He bore 
the title of BinyaD^la, a designation famous in Taking 
history. His colleagues unanimously saluted him as 
king. He at once made for the capital, where no resist- 
ance was made, and the presumptuous scribe was put to 
death. This event occurred in the spring of the year. a.d. 1746, 
The elected king was probably of Shan race. The Bur- 
mese history states that he had originally come to Pegu 
from Zimmfe with elephants ; was made master of the 
elephants under the Gwe king, and gradually acquired 
great influence. The Taking chronicle is silent as to 
his race and early life, but, referring to the legend of the 
founding of the city of Hansawadi, records that he was 
chosen king in fulfilment of the divine prediction re- 
garding native rulers. He was consecrated with great 
solemnity, and proclaimed with the title of Phramindi 
E^ja Naradibati. Among the people, however, he is 
now known by his first title of nobility. His younger 
brother was created Yuva Eaja. After the ceremony of 
consecration, he made a stirring address to the assembled 
court. He spoke of the former prosperity and grandeur 
of the country ; of the high renown of his predecessors ; 
of the divine prediction at the founding of the city, that 
it was to be sacred and free for ever from the ownership 
and rule of foreigners ; of the subordination of the kings 
of Ava and of other kings to the sovereign of Pegu ; 
and announced that the empire of Bureng Naung would 
again be established with its ancient magnificence, and 
an army be raised, of which Talab^n would be com- 
mander-in-chief. This is the first mention of a' name 
to this day famous in Pegu. 

Such an open declaration of plans by the king was 
unusual in the countries of Indo-China, but was pro- 
bably considered necessary by Binya Dak, in order to 
show his devotion to the interests of the kingdom to 



■which he h^d been elected. He must have known, that 
a larger and better appointed army than had yet been 
embodied, would be required to accomplish the desired 
end; yet for three years a desultory warfare was carried 
on, from which no decisive result could be gained. The 
conquest in view could only be achieved by the capture 
of Ava, and to effect that, a large army and flotilla were 
essential, as well as a stock of provisions to supply the 
besieging army for at least six months. These require- 
ments the Takings appear to [have been unable to 

languwi™ ™ fulfil. But having possession of the frontier towns of 
Prome and Tanngu, mixed bodies of Talaings and Gw^ 
Shans made incursions, which, for the most part, the 
Burmese were unable effectually to resist. At one time 
they penetrated beyond Ava, apparently with the design 
of forming a league with the Shans of the Upper Ir§,wadi. 
Some of the Gwe tribe had long been settled at MadarS,, 
a few miles from the eastern bank of the river above 
Ava. A party of the invaders, finding themselves 
isolated from their main body, entrenched themselves 
at that place, and were supported by the Gwe Sh§,ns. 
They soon found themselves in dire extremity from 
scarcity of food, and sent messengers to Pegu imploring 

The king of Burma had sent envoys to the Emperor 
of China, representing the great danger which threatened 

A.D. 1750. his kingdom, and asking for support. In reply to this 

appeal two Chinese or Manchu officers arrived at the 
capital, with an escort of one hundred horsemen and 
a thousand foot. They suggested that an attack should 
be made on the Talaing stockade at Madara. This was 
done, and as it failed, the Chinese officers retired with- 
out making any promise of assistance. 

Grand inTasion At length the king of Pegu had assembled an army, 
which, including all followers, numbered sixty thousand 
men. A numerous flotilla of war-boats kept command 
of the river, and was necessary to protect the hundreds 

of Burma. 


of boats laden with 'provisions and other stores, essen- 
tial to the success of the expedition. Symes, who 
gathered his information some forty-five years later from 
persons who had witnessed the operations of this war, 
states, that the Peguans procured firearms from Euro- 
pean traders, and had in their service renegade Dutch 
and native Portuguese. The Taking army would, there- 
fore, have a considerable advantage over its enemies. 
The first move was made when the rainy season had 
somewhat abated. Yuva EajS, nominally commanded a.d. 1751- 
the invading army, but the real leader was Talaban. 
The advance was made by the line of the Irawadi only ; 
and the Yuva E§,ja, passing Prome, proceeded with his 
army by land and water to Malwun. Prom thence the 
army, one division having been left with the flotilla, 
marched by the western bank of the river, where the 
districts had escaped occupation in the previous years 
and could now yield supplies. The invaders encountered 
no opposition, but at the Mu river met a body of Mani- 
puris, which had come to observe events, and retreated 
without showing hostility. Early in the year the great '^■^- '75=- 
Talaing army appeared at Sagaing, and the flotilla 
having arrived, crossed the river and invested Ava. 
The Talaing and Gwfe Shan garrison of MadarS, came 
down, and joined the invading army. In the city the 
king, the court, and the citizens were in despair. ISTo 
adequate defensive preparations had been made, and 
food soon became scarce. The soldiers of the garrison 
began to desert whenever they had the opportunity. 
In the latter days of March the besiegers entered the 
outer city. It was set on fire. The inner city, where 
was the palace, was surrounded by a wall, high and 
strong. But the soldiers who should have defended it, 
were disheartened by the neglect of their superiors, and 
weakened by hunger. After two days the besiegers were 
unopposed, and they forced the gates. The foremost Ava captured, 
soldiers rushed to the palace. The king of Burma, the 


last who could claim descent from the dynasty of Pugari, 
was found in a large hall, surrounded by his queens and 
their women attendants. He made no resistance, and 
the Burmese history admits that the invaders behaved 
gently. When the Yuva Eaj§, arrived, orders were given 
for the accommodation of the royal captives, and they 
were put on board boats to be sent to Pegu. The king 
lived there, a prisoner but well treated, for two years, 
when he was put to death on suspicion o^ having con- 
spired against Binya Dala. 

The city of Ava was burnt to the ground. The Yuva 
BAjk, not foreseeing that any further resistance would 
be made by the Burmese people, returned after a few 
weeks to Pegu. He took with him the greater part of 
the army, and left Talab^n in command, with orders 
to establish the rule of the Taking king in the upper 

Note regarding the bell mentioned at p. 133. 

This hell, it appears, was carried to Arakan, when a raid was 
made hy the king of that country into Pegu, some years after the 
death of Mah& DhammS Rajft. In the war of 1825-26 between 
Burma and British India, it was found in the precincts of a 
temple near the old capital, and was carried to India as a trophy 
by a Hindu officer of Irregular Cavalry. It now hangs in a 
Hindu temple in Zillah Alligarh. (See Journal of the Asiatic 
Society of Bengal, vol. vii. p. 287.) 

( 149 ) 



Early history of AlaunghprS. — Resists a Talaing armed party — The 
Yuva Raj^ leaves Ava for Pegu — TalaMn marches against 
Alaunghpra — ^Ava invested and occupied— The king of Pegu 
determines to reconquer Burma — Ava besieged by the Talaings 
for the second time — Talaing army retreats — Prome besieged by 
the Talaings. AlannghprS relieves Prome — Town of Rangoon 
founded — European traders in Pegu — British and French at 
■ Syriam — Syriam taken — The capital of Pegu taken by Alaungh- 
prS, — Returns to his own city — Expedition to Manipur — In- 
surrection in Pegu — Invasion of Siam — Retreat and death of 

Before the fall of Ava, a proclamation had been issued Bariy history 
by the Yuva EajS,, summoning the administrative 
officers in the country north of the city to submit, and 
swear allegiance to the king of Pegu. This order had 
been generally complied with. One officer, since known 
under the title of AlaunghprS,, ^ dared to disobey, and 
prepared to resist. ' 'So Burmese history now to be found 
contains what can 'be accepted as trustworthy informa- 
tion concerning the descent and early life of this national 
hero. The many narratives of his career which exist, 
set forth that though at the time of the Talaing conquest 
he was in a subordinate position, yet that he was of 
royal race, and that at his birth, signs and wonders in 

^ Alaunghpra signifies " embryo renderingof the Pali" Bodisativa," 
Buddha," a title vi'hich the patriot or Buddha elect. It is generally 
hero assumed. It is the vernacular written by Europeans, Alompra. 


heaven and on earth, had foreshown his future greatness. 
It is from European authors alone that the plain facts 
can now be gathered. He at one time followed the 
occupation of a hunter, not a respectable one in Burmese 
estimation. His native village, of which the original 
name is now uncertain, was situated about sixty miles 
north of Ava, and a few miles from the west bank of 
the Irawadi. The village became famous as the home 
of the Muthsobo, or hunter-captain, as being the scene 
of his successful resistance to the invader, and even- 
tually the capital of the kingdom. At the time of the 
Talaing conquest the hunter-captain was Ky^kaing, or 
deputy of the lord of the district in which the village 
was situated. As such he would be responsible for the 
collection of the revenue due to Government, and for 
the preservation of order. From the beginning of the 
troubles he was intensely national, and determined not 
to yield to the conqueror. It is related that when his 
father and mother entreated him to submit, he, with 
the deep reverence ever shown by Burmese children to 
their parents, bowed down to them on his knees, and 
, said he never could swear allegiance to a Talaing king, 

adding, " When fighting for our country, it matters little 
whether our band is large or small; it is rather im- 
portant to have a few comrades, with true hearts and 
strong arms, to will and work." These noble words are 
a key to his conduct in the early part of his career, 
before success aud irresponsible power had roused selfish 
ambition and hardened his heart. 
AiHuiighpra re- After Ava had fallen to the invader, a Talaing officer 
armed party. was Sent to the towu of Smgu, which IS on the river to 
the north of the capital, to collect taxes' from the sur- 
rounding country. He deputed a subordinate with a 
party of fifty men, who proceeded to a village near that 
of the hunter-captain, and summoned him as KySkaing 
to appear. Dissembling his purpose, he came with two- 
score armed men, surprised the Talaing party, and slew 


them all. A stronger body of men was now sent against 
him. He had already fortified his village, but he went 
out, met the enemy when on the march in the jangal, 
and defeated them with great loss. The hunter-captain 
was now joined by numbers of his countrymen. He 
again defeated a Talaing force, and fully recognising 
the national importance of his enterprise, gave orders to 
his men to spare the Burmese and Shans who fought 
under the flag of the usurper. It is probable that at 
this time he adopted the name or title of Aungz^y^ — 
Victory, or the Victorious — as a rallying signal to his 

The Talaing army in Burma had been much reduced. The Yuva raja 
There were rumours of the king of Siam menacing an Pegu. 
attack on Tavoy, of which, however, there is no proof. 
The Yuva E§,j§,, apparently without the orders of his 
brother, the king of Pegu, on the ground of danger from 
Siam, and despising an insurrection headed by a petty 
village officer, determined to return to Pegu. He took 
with him not less than twenty thousand men, besides the 
greater part of the flotilla.^ Talabau was left in com- 
mand with an army numerically insufficient to support 
the invasion. He saw that it was necessary to crush 
the incipient rebellion, which his sagacity told him 
might prove to be serious. He therefore determined TaiaMn 

*-' -^ . , , . marches against 

himself to lead a party against the hunter-captam. Aiaun«hpra. 
Leaving Ava and crossing the Iiawadi, he marched 
towards the stronghold of the rebel chief. Two months May, 
had scarcely passed since the Burmese capital had fallen '^'°' '"^' 
to the Takings, and already this head-man of a village 
had roused the spirit of his countrymen ; and after the 
Yuva Eaja had left, he, with daring self-confidence, or, 

' Syraes's information was that on the departure of the Yuva Raja 

the king of Pegu himself com- the command devolved on his 

manded the army of invasion nephew, Dauhtautsh. He, how- 

which took Ava. But this is con- ever, accompanied his uncle to 

trary to Burmese and Talaing Pegu, 
history. Symes also states that 


as the Burmese history expresses it, " inspired by the 
good Nats who observe religion," assumed the designa- 
tion of Alaunghpr^, and in a proclamation claimed to 
be a scion of the ancient royal race. Talaban appeared 
before the fortified village of the hunter, but though he 
had jingals — guns of small calibre — he could make no 
impression on it, and was obliged to relinquish the plan 
of capturing it by a sudden assault. He withdrew, 
suffering considerable loss in his retreat, but built a 
stockade to the north-west, in order to intercept the 
communication of Alaunghpra with the district of Taba- 
yln, from whence supplies were drawn, and where 
dwell the choicest men of Burmese race. The stockade 
was garrisoned by Talaing soldiers under a chosen 
officer ; but he abandoned it in a panic when attacked 
Atoutthezoth i3y Alaunghpr^ in person. The king of Pegu, dis- 
i.D. i7sk satisfied with Talabin, recalled him, and appointed 

the treasurer of Taungu, commander-in-chief, with Let- 
ylpy^nkhyi, already holding command, as his chief 
adviser. This change did not restore the fortunes of 
the invaders. They suffered more defeats, and by the 
end of the year almost all their Burmese adherents had 
deserted them. The Gw^ Sh§,ns still held the stockade 
of Madar^ and were hostile to Alaunghprsl. A son of 
the deposed king of Burma, who had been hiding in the 
mountains, now came into the camp of the victor, but 
finding he was not a welcome guest, he retired, and took 
refuge in the Gwfe Sh§,n stockade. Soon after Alaungh- 
pr& attacked and drove out the Shans. They fied to 
Momeit, and the Burmese prince went with them. The 
struggle proceeded with varying fortune, but the Takings 
gradually lost ground. Though the war went on in a 
languid way for more than a year, no reinforcements 
arrived from Pegu. AlaunghprS,, with thorough con- 
fidence in the future, laid out his native village as the 
capital of his kingdom, and dignified it with the name 
of Eatan^thinga. A palace was built on the model 


of those erected by the ancient kings, and the whole ^ 
Burmese people rallied to him whom they recognised as 
their native sovereign. 

Alaunghpra was now ready to attack the invaders in Ava invested 
Ava. He had full command of both banks of the Aia.m™hpra, ^ 
river, and had formed a strong flotilla, mainly with ij^l"^ ^'^' ^' 
boats captured from the enemy. Towards the end of 
^November, when the country was dry, the army under 
command of his second son, Tiiado Mengsoa, had nearly ^ 
encompassed the city. The Taking commander-in-chief, 
despairing of ,help from Pegu, and knowing that the 
Burmese and Shan citizens would turn against him, 
abandoned the city by night and retired so rapidly that 
he suffered but slight loss. Thado Mengsoa at once en- 
tered, and his father appointed him governor of the city. 
Alaunghpr^ then moved down, and, surrounded by his 
great officers, entered and formally took possession. No 
suitable building remained within the walls, he there- 
fore occupied a temporary palace outside. Ever careful 
to observe religious duties, he gave orders for the repair 
of the pagodas, and other sacred buildings, which had ' 
been injured during the war. In a council of his officers 
which he called to consider what should next be done, 
it was determined to settle affairs in the country to the 
north, as the Sh^n chiefs, unless subdued, might cause 
trouble. AlaunghprS,, therefore, after three months' stay 
in Ava, proceeded up the river in his state boat, while 
the army marched up both banks. The chiefs of Mo- 
meit and Bamoa came and swore allegiance to him. 
Commissioners were deputed to summon the chiefs of 
Monyin and Mogaung to the royal presence. They 
did not appear, though they sent messages of submis- 
sion, and Alaunghpra, professing to be satisfied, returned 
to his capital. 

The king of Pegu, who, from the incompetence of his The king of 
brother, the YuvaEajS., and his own neglect, had lost all to reconquer " ' 
that had been gained in the campaign of 175 1-52, now """*' 


determined again to invade Burma. No explanation is 
given in the native annals of the fatal delay which had 
occurred in forming this resolution. The army now 
assembled, though its strength is greatly exaggerated in 
the Burmese history, was probably not inferior in num- 
bers to that employed in the first invasion. The men 
were drawn from the whole of the country south of 
Prome. But that important town had been allowed 
to fall into the hands of the Burmese. The Yuva Eaja, 
in spite of his proved incompetence, was appointed 
commander-in-chief, with Talabcin as bis second in 
command. The Talaing army advanced from Lower 
Pegu by land and water early in the year. Arrived at 
AD. 1754. Prome, it was determined to blockade that place with a 

strong detachment, and the main army pursued its 
march. The invaders met with no resistance until 
they reached Tarukmyu. There they encountered a 
__ Burmese army under the command of Alaunghpra's 
two sons, the elder entitled Thado Dhamm^ EajS,, and 
younger Thado Mengsoa. The Burmese were defeated. 
The elder son went to his father's city to entreat for- 
giveness ; the younger entered Ava, and publicly wash- 
ing his head as a token of grief and repentance, vowed 
to retrieve the disaster, and propitiated the tutelary Mt 
of the city with offerings. 
theTaMr«t^I "^^^ '^^'^^ ^^J^ quickly invested the city. With his 
the second thne. numcrous flotiUa he had entire command of the river. 
AlaunghprS, remained at Muthsobomyu, but his scouts 
closely watched the besiegers. A Talaing force pro- 
ceeded up the river in boats to reconnoitre. Alaun^h- 
prS,, leaving his capital, came to the river bank, and 
suddenly attacked and defeated the party with a great 
slaughter. He followed them down stream, and Tala- 
b^n, who himself had advanced in support of the recon- 
noitering party, was forced to retreat. From this time 
the pusillanimous Yuva E^jS, remained passive within 
his entrenched lines. AlaunghprS, marched down to 


Sagaing. The Yuva Eaj§, having lost many men and 
many boats, began to feel the want of provisions, and 
with the approach of the rainy season and rise of the 
river, saw ruin before him. Thado Mengsoa made a 
vigorous sally, and the Yuva E^jS, utterly cowed, re- 
treated hastily from his position before the city, a move- Taiain^army 

•^ ^ *' retreats, May, 

ment which soon became a hurried flight towards Prome. f- 1754- 
Arrived there, Talab^n was left to rally the army and 
remain before the town, while the Yuva E^jS, fled by 
boat to Pegu. 

In the delta the rainy season had set in, and Alaungh- 
prS, delayed his march southward. He would have been 
placed in great difficulties there, and his flotilla was not 
sufficiently numerous. But the Burmese garrison in 
Prome was iu dire distress, and made urgent appeals 
for relief. A strong force was sent which approached 
the Talaing army, and Talab§,n retreated to a position 
some miles down the river. 

The king of Pegu, at last roused to the importance of Prome beaieged 
the possession of Prome for the safety of his kingdom, ^ ° aamgs. 
determined once more to make an effort to take it. 
Again he gathered an army, of which one of his brothers, 
bearing the title of Binya Dala, was commander-in- 
chief, and his son-in-law, Soabyi, the second in com- 
mand. Talab§,n was still to be the real general. 
Before the army marched the king of Burma, who had 
been carried away prisoner from Ava, was put to death, 
on the pretence that he had engaged in a conspiracy 
against the king of Pegu. This cruel deed injured the 
cause of the Talaing people, and Alaunghpr^ when in- 
formed of it remarked that the event made his task _ 
easier. The Talaing army reached Prome and invested 
it. A strong corps was posted to the north of the town 
at the Naweng stream. A division occupied a position 
to the south, and some regiments were stationed on the 
bank of the Irawadi opposite the town. Talabin, with 
10,000 men and 200 war-boats, was entrenched at an 



adyanced post on the east bank to meet the enemy 
coming to relieve the place. The Talaing commanders 
hoped to force the garrison to surrender before relief 
could arrive. Their measures for attaining this object 
were utterly wanting in vigour, and the cause of Pegu 
was lost before Erome. 

AlaunghprS,, having dispatched his troops in advance 
reiieve"s Piome, (jowu the river, left his capital to take the command. 

January, a.d. ' -^ _ 

I7SS- The first collision with the Talaing invaders occurred 

at Malwun, where their war-boats had gone to recon- 
noitre. Several of them were taken ; and the Burmese 
army marching down the left bank of the river, the 
Talaings appear to have been panic-stricken by the 
presence of Alaunghpr^,. Even Talaban retreated with- 
out making a creditable resistance. The position was 
abandoned, and the beleaguered town relieved. The 
Talaing commander-in-chief had built a strong earth- 
work a few miles to the south of Prome, where a depSt 
for provisions and warlike stores had been formed. 
This was occupied with a numerous garrison. Alaungh- 
prl, elated with his easy success, ordered an immediate 
attack. But the work was well constructed, and the 
Talaings had many guns and muskets which they had 
procured from Europeans at Syriam. The attack was 
repelled, and the Talaings were as secure in their earth- 
work as, remarks the Burmese chronicler, a "jackal in 
his hole might be against a noble lion." Alaunghpr^ 
sternly ordered that this stronghold must be stormed, 
and his officers, dreading his anger, forced their way in, 

Middle of Feb- -with great slaughter on both sides. Extensive stores 

ruary, a.d, 1755. o ^ ^ D 

of provisions, of muskets, and guns, were found. There 
was a large ship's gun, probably one of those which 
stood in front of the palace of Amarapura at the time 
of the mission from the Governor-General of India in 
1855.^ So much importance was attached to the pos- 

^ The largest piece of ordnance lean. There was a smaller piece 
then seen was nearly thirty feet near it. See Yule's Mission to 
long. It was brought from Ara- Ava, p, 136. 


session of this gun, though of little practical use from 
its unwieldiness, that Alaunghpr^, though ostentatiously 
observant of the forms of Buddhism, allowed the gun- 
ner, a foreigner, to receive a daily allowance of flesh, 
spirits, and other articles of food, which were popularly 
thought to be offerings to the demon, who presided over 
the fortune of the gun. 

AlaunghprS, devoted some weeks to the settlement Town of Ean- 
of the surrounding country, and then proceeded down ^"™ 
the river to Lwunhsfe, where he marked out the plan of " 
a stockade, and laid the foundation of a pagoda. He 
changed the name of the town to Myanaung, " speedy April, a.d. 1755. 
victory." Moving down the river, his advance guard 
defeated the Talaings near HenzadS,, and took a number 
of boats, which he much required. His army then 
continued on to Danubyu, where he celebrated the 
new year about the middle of April. A few days 
later he occupied the position of Dagun, on the plain 
adjoining the great pagoda, from which a Talaing divi- 
sion was driven. Alaunghpra, never doubting for a -^ 
moment his final success, though the enemy's capital 
was still uuconquered, laid out a new city, which he About the 5th of 
designed to be the future port of Pegu. The site chosen •' ' ' 
was admirably adapted for this object, and to proclaim 
his forecast of the immediate destruction of his enemies, 
he called the new city Eangoon. 

The Talaing army had retreated before AlaunghprS,, European 
and was concentrated at Syriam to defend the capital. 
That town was now the principal port of Pegu. The 
governor was Binya D§,la. Strong stockades had been 
built on both banks of the river to defend the passage. 
The governor hoped to have the assistance of the 
European merchants and of their ships against the 
invaders. After the destruction of Syriam by the king 
of Burma in a.d. 1619, European traders, Dutch and 
English, had settled there ; but the English East India 
Company a few years later withdrew their agents. In 


1 69 s a letter to the king of Burma was sent by the 
governor of Madras, soliciting protection for traders, 
and encouragement for their settlement in his dominions 
was given by the king. But it was not until a.d. 1709 
that a commercial resident was appointed to attend to 
British interests.^ From that time until the war of in- 
dependence between the Takings and Burmese, the 
British and other Europeans appear to have lived at 
Syriam, and to have carried on trade, with fair treat- 
ment from the Burmese Government. AlaunghprS, was 
well aware of the value of assistance which might be 
derived from Europeans, and he gave orders that they 
were not to be molested. There was at this time a 
British factory or trade dep6t at Bassein, which was 
subordinate to the establishment at Negrais. This 
island had been occupied two years before as a depot 
by order of the governor of Madras, without apparently 
any communication with the governm ent of the country. 
February 23, Early in the year, according to the British reports, a 
Burmese detachment came ,down the river in boats to 
Bassein. The Talaing garrison fled, and the Burmese 
burnt the town, but did no damage to British property. 
A month later a Burmese officer arrived at Bassein 
deputed to communicate with Mr. Brooke, the chief of 
the settlement at Negrais, from whom it was expected 
that muskets and gunpowder would be procured. The 
officer proceeded to Kegrais, accompanied by Captain 
Baker; but during their absence a Talaing force, esti- 
mated at three thousand men, reoccupied Bassein. The 
victory of Alaunghpr^ near Danubyu made the Talaing 
detachment evacuate Bassein, and by the end of April 
a Burmese detachment again occupied that port. Some 
military stores were now supplied to the Burmese by 
Mr. Brooke. 

^ Dalrymple's Oriental Reper- the East Indies by Captain A. 
tory, vol. ii., and an account of Hamilton, vol. ii. London, 1744. 

A.O. J755. 


At this time there was at Syriam a French as well British and 
as a British factory. The East India Companies of syrllm" 
the two nations, after open war in the Carnatic during 
five years, made peace. Dupleix, the governor of the 
French possessions, was recalled, and was succeeded August, a.d. 
by M. Godehen. The two nations, while at peace in 
Europe, had been at war in India ; and though hostili - 
ties were now suspended, the officers of the two 
governments continued to intrigue to gain command- 
ing influence with the native powers. The state of 
affairs in Pegu produced similar action there. The 
French at first favoured the Peguans, while the British 
leaned to the Burmans.^ It is not to he wondered 
at that European traders, entirely dependent on the 
favour of the native rulers, should, when a struggle for 
empire was going on, be in perplexity as to the side 
they ought to take. Nor is it surprising that the 
native authorities, seeing the fluctuating conduct of 
the Europeans, should accuse them of treachery. When 
AlaunghprEi reached Dagun, the chief of the French 
factory at Syriam was M. Bourno. Though inclined to 
support the Talaing cause, he endeavoured to avoid 
committing himself to a distinct line of action. Under 
pretence of more effectually helping the Talaings, but 
really to watch events, he embarked on board a ship 
under French colours, and, with two others, dropped 
down from Syriam and anchored in the Rangoon river. 
After some days, considering that AlaunghprS, was 
likely to be victorious, he proceeded to the royal camp, 
where he was graciously received. During his absence 
from his ship, his second in command, from some un- 
explained cause, took his ship back to Syriam. This 
act roused the suspicions of Alaunghpr^, who suspected 
treachery, but he allowed M. Bourno to depart, on his 

^ The best authority for the his "Embassy to Ava." London, 
conduct of the French and British 1800. 
at this time in Pegu is Symes in 


A.D. 1755. 


promise to bring back his ship. The chief of the 
British factory at Syriam had openly joined the Bur- 
mese by proceeding with four ships into the Kangoon 

May, A.D. I7SS. river. Early in the following month, a vessel belong- 
ing to the English company, the " Arcot," arrived. The 
Yuva EIja, who was at Syriam, opened a secret corre- 
spondence with the master, captain Jackson, and there 
began to be symptoms of sympathy by the British, with 
the Takings. This may have been brought about by 
doubts as to the final success of AlaunghprS,, for at 

September 17, tMs time he left his camp and proceeded up the 
Irawadi. This apparently retrograde movement was 
made in consequence of reports of attack likely to be 
be made by the northern Sh&n chiefs on his capital. 
He therefore deemed it advisable to proceed there. As 
it was now the rainy season in Pegu, he knew that 
operations in the field must be suspended for some 
months, and he left the bulk of his army, strongly 
intrenched and well provisioned, under a trusted 
officer, confident that the position was safe from attack 
by the Talaings. No sooner had AlaunghprS, gone than 
an attack was made by the Talaings on the Burmese 
camp. It failed. The British vessels, though anchored 
within gunshot, gave no support to the Burmese. A 
few days later another attack was made by the Ta- 
laings on the Burmese position, which was supported 
by the fire of both British and French ships. This 
fire obliged the Burmese to abandon their war-boats, 
but the Talaings did not land to attack the fortified 
position. Some irregular skirmishing occurred for a 
few days, and the Talaings then retreated to Syriam, 
to which port the British and French ships now re- 
turned. The action of the British in this affair was 
disapproved by Mr. Brooke, and he directed the ships 
to proceed to Negrais, except the "Arcot," which re- 
mained at Syriam for repairs. The chief of the settle- 
ment at Negrais was placed in an awkward predica- 


ment by the action of his subordinates. He had 
dispatched Captain Baker and Lieutenant North up 
the Irawadi with presents to Alaunghpra, in the hope 
of concluding with him a treaty of friendship and 
commerce. Captain Baker reached Muthsobo, and was 
received in audience by the Burmese king. Consider- 
ing the treacherous conduct of the British at Eangoon, 
Alaunghpra behaved with magnanimity. He granted 
permission for factories to be established at Eangoon 
and Bassein. Syriam he had determined to de- 
stroy. While these negotiations were going on, the 
" Arcot," with two British ships and one French ship, 
joined the Talaings in another attack on the Burmese 
entrenched position. This also failed, and the Talaings 
made no further effort. Alaunghprtl, having settled 
affairs in the upper country, was able to send down 
reinforcements to Eangoon ; and a Sh&n army of twenty 
thousand men was about the end of the year set in 
motion to march by the Taungu route to Pegu. In 
the beginning of the year he left his capital, confiding Jam ary, 
it to two of his sons, and arrived at Eangoon towards '" ' 
the end of February. At once he determined to attack 
Syriam. The British ships had left, but some sub- 
ordinates were at the factory. One French ship 
under M. Bourno still remained. It was moored close 
to the factory. The Burmese army advanced by land 
and water and invested the port. The French ship 
had taken the ground, and was disabled by the fire 
from a Burmese battery. M. Bourno secretly made 
offers of submission to AlaunghprS,, and the Taking 
commandant, suspecting treachery, removed him and 
his men into the fort. Alaunghpr^ took possession of 
the ship and occupied the factory building, which was 
near the shore. During several months the port was 
strictly blockaded. The Burmese were masters on 
land and water. On a night in July, when the heavy 
rain dulled all noise, a band of chosen men rushed on 




Syriam taken. 

The capital of 
Pegu taken by 

one of the gates. The garrison, weakened by famine, 
made but feeble resistance. The Talaing officers for 
the most part escaped; the Europeans remained pri- 
soners. The conqueror found considerable supplies of 
warlike stores in the fort, and fortune threw in his 
way increased means for carrying on the war. The 
governor of Pondicherry, the capital of the French 
settlements in India, had, on the recommendation of 
M. Bourno, determined to support the king of Pegu.^ 
He dispatched for this purpose two ships laden with 
large supplies of military stores. One of these vessels, 
the " Galet^e," arrived at the mouth of the river two 
days after the fall of Syriam. AlaunghprS, made 
Bourno, now a prisoner, write to the captain of the 
" Galet^e," inviting him to bring his ship up the river. 
He fell into the trap, and the vessel was seized. The 
ship's papers proved that the warlike stores on board 
were intended for the king of Pegu, and Alaunghpra 
in his rage put to death M. Bourno, and also the 
captain and officers of the " Galet^e." The subordi- 
nates of the British factory had been put into prison 
by the Talaings, and were now released. Several 
European seamen were sent up the country. Their 
descendants, and those of the Portuguese whose lives 
were spared at the sack of Syriam in the previous 
century, constitute the community known as native 
Christians at the present time in Upper Burma. They 
have been preserved in the Christian faith by the 
pastoral care of Catholic missionaries, who, to the 
credit of the Burmese Government, have been allowed, 
through all disturbances, to reside unmolested among 

The king of Pegu was now left without foreign sup- 
port. The rainy season having abated, the troops of his 
dreaded enemy began to swarm round his capital. 

^ Symes ascribes this measure 
to M. Dupleix ; but, as has already 

been mentioned, he had left India 
two years before. 


Coming in thousands by land and water, they appeared 
before the city about the middle of October. The Shan 
contingent, which had marched down by Taungu, occu- 
pied Sittaung by the end of September, and awaited 
further orders. The Takings in the city made sorties, 
and still fought with the courage of men of spirit, who 
struggle for national independence in its last place of 
refuge. The outworks were all taken, though with 
considerable loss to the assailants, and by the end of 
October the whole of Alaunghpra's army, including the 
Sh^ns, had closed round the devoted city. The king of 
Pegu had no resource left but to appeal to the mercy and 
the religious sentiment of his enemy — an expedient of 
which several instances are mentioned in the histories 
of the wars of Burma. The deeply revered Eah§,ns, the 
brotherhood who devote their lives to the observance 
of the law of Buddha, headed by their venerable supe- 
rior, appeared in the camp of the invader, and in the 
name of religion besought him to put an end to the war, 
and to live as elder and younger brother with the king 
of Pegu. In other words, the kingdom was to be held 
as tributary to the king of Burma. The chief Eah^n 
in his address, with sincere or artful allusion to the con- 
queror as a destined Buddha, referred to the satisfaction 
he would feel in after ages, when that high and holy 
state had been attained in his last birth, and when he 
could look back with pure delight on a noble act of gene- 
rosity and mercy, which would give relief to millions 
of human beings. Alaunghpra replied in terms which 
evaded the appeal to his clemency. In all ages, he 
said, with a ready assumption of the exalted character 
he claimed, Bodhisatwas who reigned as kings had 
observed the duties, and good works, incumbent upon 
rulers. He would be careful to follow their example ; 
to obey the dictates of his heart ; to secure the happi- 
ness of his subjects, and of aU sentient beings. The 
poor had nothing to fear from him. He would respect 


and uphold existing laws and customs, and so with 
respect and friendship he imparted this 'information to 
the venerable Eah§,n. 

This reply being reported to the king, Talah^n and 
other Talaing officers represented that submission 
would be destruction. It was determined to defend 
the city to the last extremity. Alaunghpr^, to show to 
the whole country his determination to persevere, built 
a temporary palace with a lofty seven-storied spire, and 
excepting in the capital, was supreme throughout Pegu. 
A line of works being drawn round the city, no supplies 
of food could enter, and all signs of resistance by the 
i?"?!*'^ ' *'°' garrison had ceased. The citizens were reduced by 
famine to the deepest misery The king assembled his 
council. They recommended that he should offer his 
maiden daughter, Maikum, to the conqueror, and again 
appeal to his mercy. This princess had been betrothed 
to Talab^n, and they were to be married whenever he 
succeeded in expelling the Burmese army. In vain he 
now protested against the proposition of the council, 
which was supported by the king's brother, the Yuva 
E^jl Overborne by this influence, he determined to 
leave the city. With a devoted band of followers, the 
members of his family being mounted on elephants and 
horses, he went forth by night from the eastern gate, 
and forcing his way through the besieging lines, made 
good his escape to Sittaung. A wail of despair now 
arose among the citizens. The Talaing king forthwith 
wrote a humble letter to the conqueror, which was pre- 
sented by the chief EahS,n. He offered his daughter in 
marriage, that he might secure peace to his people, and 
prayed that he might be left as tributary in his king- 
dom. According to the Talaing chronicle, this peti- 
tion was granted, while the Burmese history records 
the verbal reply as merely expressing the desire of 
Alaunghpr^ to promote the happiness of all beings. 
To a noble, who accompanied the chief Eah^n, he 


gave two bunches of orchid flowers, saying enigma- 
tically, one is an offering, and one for adornment. 
The message being conveyed to Binya D§,la, the trem- 
bling suppliant agaih indulged hope. One nosegay 
was offered at the great pagoda; the other was given to 
the princess, who placed it in her hair. Without delay 
she set out for the camp of Alaunghpra, borne in a 
palanquin, and surrounded by a hundred maiden atten- 
dants. The Yuva Eaj§, with many Talaing grandees 
had preceded her, and they remained as hostages in the 
Burmese camp. The princess was received in- open 
court, the conqueror sitting on his throne ; she knelt 
down and made obeisance, and was then conducted into 
the interior of the palace. 

For several days hostilities were suspended. Festi- 
vals were held in the city and in the besiegers' camp, 
all of both nations except a few of the leading men 
believing the war to be ended. From the palace of 
Hans^wadi came some princesses of the deposed royal 
family of Burma, whom AlaunghprS, was anxious to 
gain. Some officers of the Gwfe Shins, and Burmese 
who had taken service with the Talaing king were 
surrendered, and at once put to death. It was next 
demanded that the king's brother Binya Dala, his 
nephew Doabanyi, and his son-in-law SoabyS,, should 
be given up. They knew the fate that awaited them, 
and the demand was resisted. Alaunghpri, who never 
intended to fulfil the hopes he had inspired, now no 
longer concealed his design. He had managed to 
introduce into the city a band of chosen soldiers, who 
remained hidden apart from each other, but ready on 
a given signal to attack the palace. They were dis- 
covered and put to death, and again hostilities were 
resumed. The Yuva Eaj§,, who had made himself 
acceptable to Alaunghpri, appeared at one of the city 
gates and called on his relations to come, as they had 
promised, to the Burmese camp. The famine in the 


city became more intense ; quarrels arose among the 
royal family ; and the wretched king sent secret pro- 
posals to surrender, asking only that his life should be 
spared. The Burmese king now made a night assault 
on one of the city gates. The defenders fled; the 
besiegers rushed in. The houses near the gate were 
set on fire, and amidst the terror and confusion no 
About tbe 2ci combined resistance was made. The city was given up 

Jtay 1757. J o r 

to plunder, and the soldiers were allowed to keep as 
booty all they took, except warlike stores and the 
jewels, valuables, and equipage which had been carried 
away from the palace at Ava. The conquered king 
was taken prisoner in the palace. Most of the leading 
men, even Eahans, according to the Talaing chronicle, 
were put to death; and thousands of men, women, and 
children were sold as slaves. 

neiurns to his Eemainlug in Hausiwadi for some weeks, Alaunghprei 

then went down to Eangoon, taking the captive king 

with him. All the artificers of the city were sent to 

his own capital. The buildings in Pegu were destroyed. 

^ He appointed a governor to Martaban, and officers to 

About gth July, all the districts of the delta. He then left for Muth- 
sobo. Proceeding up the Irawadi, when a little above 
Danubyu, Ensign Lester, who had been deputed by the 
chief of the settlement at Negrais to ask for a treaty 

23d July, of commerce, was received in audience. He was told 

A.D. 1757. 

to follow on, and was again received a few days later 
at Myanaung. AlaunghprS, spoke severely of the con- 
duct of the British in supporting the Talaing rebels, but 
issued a decree granting, among other favours, the island 
of Negrais, and ground for a factory at Bassein to the 
East India Company. Considering past events, his 
treatment of the British merchants was liberal; but the 
envoy was meanly treated by the subordinate officers 
of the court. He proceeded on to his capital, where he 
held a grand festival, and, surrounded by his court, 
went to worship at the pagodas. He also founded a 


new pagoda, depositing immense treasures in the relic- 
chamber, and liberally rewarded all his officers, espe- 
cially those who had been his companions in his first 
resistance to the Talaing king. 

A small expedition was sent to punish the Gwfe 
Shins, some of whom had taken refuge in the Momeit 
states. This caused a collision with the Sh§,n chiefs 
of Maingmaing, who were tributary to China, and was 
the remote cause of trouble to Burma a few years later. 
Determined to make his power felt among the neigh- 
bouring states, AlaunghprS, next announced in open 
court that an appeal had been made to him by one of 
the sons of the E§,j4 of Manipur, and that he intended Manipur. 
to settle the succession to the throne in that country. 
His army marched westward from the capital, while he 
himself went by water down the Ir§,wadi, and marched 
on Langthabal, then the chief city of Manipur. Arrived Novembev, 
there, he found no E§,jS, and no inhabitants. All had 
fled to the mountains. Some chiefs came in and sub- 
mitted, and AlaunghprS, contented himself with setting 
up a stone pillar as a token of conquest. He then 
returned to his capital, and occupied himself in directing 
works for bringing water to the city sufficient for the 
increased number of inhabitants. While engaged in 
this useful occupation, news reached him of an insur- insurrection 

^ 1 ^^ Pegu. 

rection having broken out in Pegu. Without delay he 
assembled an army, and having dispatched it by land 
and water, followed himself. His eldest son, now Ain- J^iy- *■"• '759- 

1 mi August. 

sh^meng, was left as his deputy at the capital. The 
Talaing insurrection was feebly sustained. Though the 
Burmese governor of Pegu, Nh Myu Noarahtl, had at ^ 
first been surprised and obliged to retreat on HenzadS,, 
he recovered ground and again occupied Eangoon. But 
affairs were unsettled, and events occurred which seemed 
to point to foreign intrigue with the rebels. Before the 
rebellion had been entirely quelled, the ship "Arcot" 
arrived at Eangoon, having on board Mr. Whitehill, who 

1 68 


5th October. 

Invasion of 

was in the service of the East India Company. He had 
been at Eangoon four or five years before, at the time of 
the siege of Syriam, when the " Arcot " had fired on the 
Burmese war-boats. It is not surprising, therefore, that 
he was now arrested and the ship seized. Mr. Whitehill 
was sent up the river to Prome, where Alaunghpr^ then 
was. He was treated more leniently than he probably 
expected after the fate of M. Bourno, and was allowed 
to depart upon paying a heavy ransom. AlaunghprS,, 
on arriving at Eangoon, received what he no doubt con- 
sidered to be correct information, that the agents of the 
Company at Negrais had sold arms and ammunition 
to the rebels. This report, which probablj'' was well 
founded, could not fail to make a barbarian despot give 
full vent to his rage. He ordered that the settlement 
was to be utterly destroyed. The Government of Bengal 
had intended to withdraw the establishment from Ne- 
grais. At this time Mr. Southby arrived as chief of the 
factory .1 The following day a sudden attack was made 
by armed Burmese on the building where the Europeans 
were assembled. Ten of them, and nearly one hundred 
natives of India, were murdered. Two British ships 
were in the harbour, to which some Indians fled ; and 
a few Europeans, who had escaped the massacre, were 
sent prisoners to Rangoon. 

Alaunghpr^ now determined to invade Siam. Pre- 
texts for this measure were not wanting. Thousands of 
Talaings had taken refuge in Siamese territory, and bands 
of that race had made incursions on the Tavoy frontier, 
which had lately been re-occupied by the Burmese. 
The conqueror, it is stated, was also incensed against 
the king of Siam because he had refused to give him 
one of his daughters in marriage. He decided to march 
by the coast route to AyuthiS,, as he had ships which 
could sail down the coast with provisions, and keep up 

' Dalrymple's Repertory, vol. i. p. 343. 


communication with the army. Before he left Eangoon 
his principal officers advised him not to undertake the 
expedition; and the astrologers represented that the 
aspect of the planets foreboded evil. Disregarding these 
"warnings, the army marched. Alaunghpra took with December, 
him his second son, My^du Meng. Moving by HansS,- ^■°' '"'" 
wadi and Sittaung, the whole force, including the ships, 
assembled at Martaban. A Taking officer had been 
appointed governor of that city. He was suspected of 
being in secret correspondence with Talaban, who was 
in the Zimm^ territory during the late rebellion. The 
governor was now put to death. The army crossed the 
Salwin river, and marched down the coast to Tavoy and 
Mergui. The port of Tenasserim, then occupied by the 
Siamese, was next entered ; and a day's march in ad- 
vance occurred the first skirmish with the Siamese 
forces. AlaunghprS,, traversing the low mountain range 
at this narrow part of the peninsula, debouched on the 
shore of the Gulf of Siam at or near the village of 
Banlaym. From thence marching northerly, a severe 
engagement with the enemy occurred at the Mayklaung 
river. The Siamese were defeated with heavy loss in 
killed and prisoners, elephants and guns. AlaunghprS, 
took up a position before the capital, Ayuthi^. He About 
soon found himself in dangerous plight. The Siamese \°d. 1760! 
king rejected all offers of peace, and was determined to 
hold out until the rise of the river should flood the 
camp of the besieger. Alaunghpr§, was not prepared 
to support his army during a long siege. In vain he 
sent conciliatory messages, declaring that he came not 
to destroy the city, but as a Bodhisatwa to preach the 
law of holiness and deliverance from earthly desire. He 
would enter the city as his predecessor Goadama had 
entered Kapilawastu, his father's city, and subdue men's 
hearts by kindness. The Siamese, in reply, ridiculed 
his pretension and defied his power. While a glorious 
anticipated apotheosis was thus being announced, a 



Retreat and 
death of 

Middle of May, 
A.D. 1760. 

grievous downfall was at hand. The destined Buddha 
revealed to his confidential attendants that he felt 
stricken by mortal disease. He had only been five 
days before the city he came to conquer, when a retreat 
was ordered. The route selected was the valley of the 
Men§,m river. The dying king was carried in a litter. 
The retreating army, much harassed by the Siamese, 
pushed on rapidly ; and when near Eahaing, turning 
westward, reached Myawadi in the upper course of the 
Thaungyin. When half-way to the Salwin, AlaunghprS, 
died. He was forty-six years old. The death was con- 
cealed as long as possible. The body was borne to 
Hans^wadi and Eangoon. The My^du Meng proceeded 
without delay to the capital, and the body was con- 
veyed there by the river. It was burnt with the funeral 
rites of a Chakravarti or universal monarch. 

( 171 ) 


The king of Arakan becomes aggressive — Takes Chittagaon — Arrival 
of Portuguese ships — European pirates — Alliance between the 
pirates and the king of Arakan — The Portuguese Viceroy sends a 
fleet to attack Arakan — Attack fails — King of Arakan occupies 
Dacca — Invades Pegu — Fate of Shah ShujS, — Arakanese driven 
from Chittagaon — Kings of Arakan at the mercy of foreign guards 
— Authority of the king restored — Great earthquake. 

In a former chapter, the affairs of the kingdom of Ara- King of ArakMi 
kan were traced up to the march of Tabeng Shw^hti 3^4°"'* *^^'^™' 
on the capital in 1546-47. The narrative of events in 
that country will now be resumed, and continued to the 
time of the death of Alaunghpr^. For many years after 
the retreat of Tabeng Shw^hti, Arakan was left undis- 
turbed. Situated between Bengal and Burma, and far 
inferior to either in extent and resources, the strength 
of Arakan lay mainly in woods and swamps, which op- 
posed the passage of an enemy, and offered a safe refuge 
for the people. Trusting to these natural defences, the 
kings of Arakan might long have remained secure 
against foreign foes. But they were not content to 
exist in obscure independence at home, and they en- 
croached northward or eastward, as they found oppor- 
tunity from the weakness of either neighbour. The 
rulers of Arakan had extended their territory northward 
during the time of the feeble kings of Bengal. But a 
vigorous race coming from Central Asia now possessed 
the imperial throne at Dehli, and the time was not far 
distant when the kings of Arakan were to be driven 
within their ancient boundary. 



Takes Cliitta- 

AiTival of Por- 
tuguese ships. 

In Upper India, -what is called the " Mughal or Mogul 
Empire" had been established by Baber in 1526, at 
which time Nusserit Shah, the son of Syud Hussein, 
reigned in Bengal. He was assassinated in 1539, when 
Sher Shah, the Affghan, became king, and ruled for six 
years. The general of Akhbar, the grandson of Baber, 
did not conquer Bengal until thirty years after, and 
the south-eastern districts were for some time later 
still unsubdued. Amidst these troubles in Bengal, 
the kings of Arakan, who had held portions of what 
is now the Chittagaon district about the middle of 
the fifteenth century, firmly established their autho- 
rity there during the greater part of the sixteenth 
century.i The English traveller Eitch, who was at 
Chittagaon in 1585, expressly states that " it is often- 
times under the king of Euon." The first appearance 
of Europeans in this part of India was in 15 17, when, 
according to the Portuguese historian,^ John de Syl- 
veryra entered the port of Chittagaon, which then 
appears to have been held by the king of Arakan. The 
Portuguese were invited to trade with that country. In 
the native chronicles, however, the first arrival of the 
Portuguese in Arakan is stated to have been in 1532, 
when they came " from the great ocean in big ships." 

1 In vol. ii. of the " Researches 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal," 
p. 383, is a. paper which was read 
before the Society in 1 790 by Sir 
John Shore. It refers to an in- 
scription in what is called " the 
Maga language" (either Pali or 
Arakanese), on a silver plate found 
in what is called " a cave," near 
Chittagaon. From the account 
given it is evident that the silver 
plate was found in the relic-cham- 
ber of a pagoda. The relic-cham- 
ber had been constructed in the 
ground beneath the pagoda, and in 
it, together with the silver plate, 
were found numerous images of 
Buddha. It is the general practice 
in Arakan and Burma to deposit 

images in relic-chambers. The 
pagoda now in question was, ac- 
cording to the inscription, built in 
the year 904 (A. D. 1 542) by Chandi 
Lah R^j^, as a. place of worship 
for the Magas. That name Maga, 
it may be remarked, has no doubt 
been given by the translator to the 
Arakanese people, as it is not likely 
to have been used in the inscrip- 
tion. The translation as printed 
is indeed evidently a rough para- 
phrase of the original. The name 
Chandi Lah Raja is no doubt an 
attempt at rendering the title of 
the Arakanese governor in a Ben- 
gal form. 

* De Faria y Sousa. English 
translation, vol. 1. p. 220. 


Bitter complaint is made that not long after they wan- 
tonly plundered villages near the coast.i In 1538 an 
envoy from the Portuguese Viceroy at Goa landed at 
Chittagaon, and proceeded to the king of Bengal, Sher 
Shah, vfho held his court at Gour.^ Meng Phalaung, 
who was king of Arakan for twenty-two years until 
1593, held all Chittagaon, part of Noakhali, and of Tip- 
pera. He assumed the Muhammadan title of Sikunder 
Shah. Meng Khamaung, grandson to Meng Phalaung, 
who succeeded in 161 2, is glorified as a hero in the 
native annals. His bold enterprise in proceeding to 
Pegu, where he was taken prisoner by his former slave, 
de Brito, has already been narrated. There were at 
this period numerous Portuguese adventurers in Arakan, 
and de Brito, who came to the coast as a cabin-boy, 
was for some time a menial in the palace. 

Among other settlements which the Portuguese had 
formed was one called Dianga, situated on the sea-coast 
south of the mouth of the river Kurnaphuli, about twenty 
miles south of the present town of Chittagaon. There 
was a considerable European population at this port. 
They had a thriving trade with the ports of Bengal, but 
made themselves odious to their Asiatic neighbours by 
their piratical attacks on the native vessels which their 
galleys fell in with at sea. The king of Arakan on this Earopean 
occasion, and because of the ungrateful conduct of de Brito p"^'*'^^- 
at Syriam, who had also designs to gain Dianga, attacked 
the settlement by land early in 1607.^ The town was 
taken and the inhabitants slaughtered without mercy. 
A few Europeans escaped by sea. Among them was 

1 They are called in the Arakan- is still called out to Europeans by 
ese chronicle Phalaung. This at children in the streets of Akyab. 
first was probably a corruption or ^ See Hunter's Statistical Ac- 
adaptation of I'eringi (as the Ti- count of Bengal, vol. v. p. 119, and 
betan tribes, accordingto Hodgson, vol. vi. p. 1 10. 
have changed the same word into ^ For the events of this period 
Philing), and as the word is Bur- see the History of Manuel de Faria 
mese for tadpole, it was continued y Sousa, vol. iii. ; Hunter's Statis- 
to be used in derision. The name tical Account of Bengal, vols. v. 


Sebastian Gonzales, who had lately arrived from a 
port of the Megna with a cargo of salt. His history 
was like that of many Portuguese adventurers at this 
time in India. He had come from Europe two years 
before and enlisted as a soldier. Afterwards he be- 
came owner of a small vessel with which he traded on 
the coast of the Bay of Bengal. After escaping from 
Dianga, he for some time lived by plunder on the 
Arakan coast, and found refuge when necessary in the 
mouth of the Megna. There lay the small territory of 
the TAjh of Batecala or Bakla, in what is now the dis- 
trict of Bakirgunj, with whom the Portuguese were on 
friendly terms. Sundeep (Sandwip), the most eastern 
of the habitable islands off the mouth of the Megna, 
had at one time been occupied by the Portuguese, and 
was now in the possession of Futteh Khan, an Affghan. 
This chief appears not to have made his submission to 
the Mogul Government of Bengal, but to have set up 
for himself. He was very active against the Portuguese 
pirates, though at one time in league with them, and at 
length was killed in a fight at sea. Gonzales, who was 
selected to lead these sea-wolves, collected a flotilla of 
forty sail, manned by four hundred Portuguese sailors, 
and attacked and took the port of Sundeep after a long 
resistance. The whole of the garrison, and the inhabi- 
jiarch 1609. tants without distinction, were put to the sword. Gon- 
zales now not only refused to acknowledge the authority 
of the E^ja of Bakla, who had helped him to besiege 
Sundeep, but took possession of the island of Deccan 
Shabazpur and of another island adjoining. About 
this time the governor of Chittagaon having offended 
his brother the king of Arakan, iled to Sundeep. 
Gonzales received him and married his sister ; but 

and vi. ; and Stewart's History of of the king's brother. The mas- 
Bengal ; also Marshman's. The saore of the inhabitants is thus 
Arakanese history mixes tip the concealed by a short general de- 
account of the destruction of Di- scription of events which were 
anga with the subsequent rebellion spread over three or four years. 


he died suddenly, not without suspicion of having 
been poisoned. The piratical chief then seized all his 

The Mogul governor of Bengal, Sheikh Islam Khan, AUiance be- 
now determined to subdue the country east of the gulsTp^^ates 
Megna, which had submitted to the king of Arakan. Trakan.'"'"^''* 
Gonzales and the king, though lately deadly foes, 
leagued for their own defence, and the Arakanese fleet, 
which consisted of a number of well-appointed galleys, 
was placed under the command of the Portuguese adven- 
turer, who had also his own ships. The king of Arakan 
marched with his army from Chittagaon as far as Laksh- 
mipura or Lukeepur, in the district of Noakhali, and 
expelled the Mogul detachments which had occupied 
the towns. Gonzales, who looked only to securing his 
own power, gained possession of the whole fleet of 
his ally, by the simple plan of calling the Arakanese 
captains to a consultation and murdering them. The 
vessels then fell an easy prey. The Moguls soon reap- 
peared in force, and the king of Arakan with difficulty 
escaped across the river Tenny in his flight to Chit- 
tagaon. Leaving a strong garrison in that town, he 
returned to his own capital, and there a nephew of 
Gonzales, who appears to have been given to him as a 
hostage, was put to death by impalement. Gonzales 
in revenge entered the Arakan river with several ships, 
plundered the villages, and even captured some Euro- 
pean merchant vessels — probably Dutch — which were 
lying there. The king of Arakan, Thado Dhamm^ 
K§,j^, died in 161 2, and was succeeded by his gallant 
son Meng Khamaung. The young king determined to 
attack Gonzales in his stronghold. He marched to 
Chittagaon, his fleet at the same time keeping as near 
the coast as was practicable, in order to preserve daily 
communication with the army. But he came into colli- 
sion with the forces of the Eaja of Tippera, and was 
obliged to retire without effecting his object. 



The Portuguese 
Viceroy sends a 
fleet to attack 

A.D. 1615. 

Attack fails. 

Gonzales, fearing there would be a combination 
against him, and being no longer supported, as he once 
was, by a considerable number of his countrymen, de- 
termined to apply for aid to the chief of his nation in 
India. He sent messengers to the Viceroy at Goa, 
uro-inc that all he had done was to revenge the murder 
of the Portuguese at Dianga, and offering, if supported, 
to pay a yearly tribute to the crown of Portugal. He 
suggested that Arakan should be attacked: declared 

Do ■' 

that the conquest would be easy, and that great booty 
would be found. The Viceroy did not disdain to ap- 
prove of the plan proposed by a freebooter. He sent a 
fleet of fourteen galliots under Don Francis de Meneses, 
which reached the mouth of the Arakan river at the 
close of the rainy season. By some defect in the 
arrangements 'for combined movement, or perhaps by 
the design of the admiral, Gonzales had not arrived. 
The admiral, however, at once took his fleet up the 
river, on a branch of which the capital of Arakan 
stands. There happened to be lying there some Dutch 
vessels, and they joined the Arakanese flotilla to resist 
the attack. A furious battle ensued, and the Portuguese 
fleet was forced to retire to the mouth of the river. 
After a few days Don Prancis was joined by Gonzales 
with fifty sail, for the most part small craft. The ad- 
miral now sailed up the river and attacked the Dutch 
ships. They were anchored so as to bring their broad- 
side guns to bear on the assailants, and were supported 
by earthen breastworks on shore, manned with Ara- 
kanese musketeers. The Portuguese had the best of 
the fight, due mainly to their superior numbers and 
the reckless onslaught of the pirate chief. Suddenly 
Admiral Don Francis was killed, and the galliot of Gas- 
par de Abreu was taken. He escaped capture but died 
of his wounds. The Portuguese fleet, much discouraged 
at these losses, drew out of fire, floated with the ebb 
tide down the river, and sailed for Goa. Gonzales re- 


turned sullenly to Sundeep. Meng Khamaung made 
another attack on that island about two years later. 
He took it, putting most of the inhabitants to death, 
and destroyed the fortifications. Gonzales escaped, and 
is heard of no more ; but, in the words of the Portu- 
guese historian, " His pride was humbled and his 
villanies punished." Meng Khamauncj, emboldened ^i^s of Aiakan 

^ 00' occupies Dacca. 

by success, extended his territory in Bengal by occupy- 
ing a part of what is now the district of Bakirgunj, and 
for a time the city of Dacca. This movement, which 
is boastfully termed in the Arakanese chronicle the 
" conquest of the middle land," was rendered possible 
from the confusion which then existed in the Mogul 
empire. Shah Jehan, "in rebellion against his father, 
Jehlngir, had killed in battle Ibrahim Khan, the 
Subadar of Bengal, and had then marched towards 
Delhi. The south-eastern districts of Bengal were left 
without a master. Meng Khamaung did not long enjoy 
his success, which could only gratify a vain ambition, 
and not be of any lasting advantage to his country. He 
died in 1622. His name is still remembered with pride 
and affection by the people of Arakan. 

His son succeeded to the kingdom, and took the title King of Arakan 

° invades Pegu. 

of Thiri Thudhamma Eaja. He enforced payment of 
tribute from Dacca, and marched on a marauding ex- 
pedition into Pegu, where, after the death of Anouk- 
phetlwun Meng, affairs were for some time much con- 
fused. He brought from thence as a trophy a bell 
which had been cast by the king of Pegu, and set it up 
at a temple near the capital.^ He reigned until 1638, 
in which year, says Stewart,^ " the Mug chief Makat 
Eai," * who had fallen under the displeasure of his 

^ This is the bell before men- ^ History of Bengal, 1813, p. 

tioned, which is now in a Hindu 245. 

temple in the Doab. See Journal of ^ Makat Rai is apparently a 

the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. corruption of Meng Rl, signifying 

viii. for 1838. The inscription, in "Bold Chief," a title held by the 

Burmese and Talaing, is of con- Arakanese governors of Chitta- 

siderable historical value. See p. gaon. It appears on some of the 

148. coins they issued. 




master, came to Dacca, which had been recovered to 
the empire by Kasim Khan, the governor of Bengal. 
It is stated that this chief made over the sovereignty 
of the territory of Chittagaon. That district, how- 
ever, did not then pass to the officers of the Mogul 
emperor, and apparently remained subject to Arakan 
for several years longer. In 1652 S^nda Thudhamm^ 
succeeded to the throne. In his reign Shah Shuja 
rateotsiiaii fled into Arakan. The sad fate of this prince and 
of his wife and children, has excited deep com- 
passion.^ Appointed viceroy of Bengal in 1639, he 
made Eajmahal his capital. Engaged in war with 
his brothers, he was defeated by Mir Jumla, the general 
of Aurungzebe. Despairing of mercy from his brother, 
he sent his son to demand an asylum from the king of 
Arakan, and permission to embark for Mecca. The 
reply was satisfactory, and the prince with his retinue, 
together with his wife, sons, and three daughters, pro- 
ceeded from Dacca to a port on the river Megna, 
where they embarked in galleys. As it was the season 
of the boisterous south - west monsoon, the galleys 
could not leave the river, and fearful of being taken 
prisoners, the whole party landed in what was then the 
territory of Tippera, and proceeded by land to Chitta- 
gaon. From thence they travelled through a difficult 
country to the Naaf river ; crossing which, they entered 
Arakan, and arrived at the capital about the end of the 
year 1660. The prince was well received. He was 
anxious to leave for Mecca, but Mir Jiimla sent emis- 
saries, who offered large sums if the fugitive were deli- 
vered up. The king, desirous no doubt to have a 

^ For the story of Shah ShujS, The Arakanese chroniclers conceal 

after his flight into Arakan, see the cruel conduct of their king. 

Bemier's Travels (Calcutta edi- They lay stress on the attempt of 

tion), vol. i. pp. 120, 127. Ber- the fugitive prince to possess hinm- 

nier derived his information from self of the palace, but omit to 

Mussulmans, Portuguese, and mention the previous provocation, 

Hollanders who were at that of which there can be no reasonable 

time in Chittagaon and Arakan. doubt. 


specious cause of quarrel, basely required the prince to 
give him in marriage one of his daughters. This demand 
"was indignantly refused, and the king openly showed his 
resentment. Shah ShujS, foreseeing that force would be 
used, endeavoured to excite a rising in his favour among 
the Muhammadan population of the country. He made 
an attempt with his followers to seize the palace, which 
failed. He was then attacked by the king's soldiers 
at his residence, and fled to the hills, but was taken 
prisoner, and forthwith put into a sack and drowned. 
His sons were put to death, and his wife and two of 
his daughters committed suicide. The remaining 
daughter was brought into the palace, where from grief 
she died an early death. Those of the prince's followers 
who escaped slaughter, were retained by the king of 
Arakan for the same service as that they had held 
under the prince ; a bodyguard of archers. They 
became the nucleus of a foreign corps, which later was 
notorious in Arakan for turbulence and violence, dispos- 
ing of the throne according to their will. Later still, 
when by diminished numbers their influence was 
weakened, they were ^deported to Eamrt, where their 
descendants still retain the name of Kumanchi. 
Though using only the Burmese language, they are 
Mussulmans in religion, and their physiognomy and 
fairness of complexion still tell of their descent from 
Turks, Affghans, or so-called Moguls. 

In Bengal, Shaista Khan succeeded Mir Jiimla as Arakane'^e 
Subadar. King Sanda ThudhammS,, with the assistance ciiatagam" 
of Portuguese and other vagabond Europeans, again 
made incursions west of the Megna, and plundered 
the country to the very gates of Dacca. Shaista Khan, 
determined to drive these invaders out of Bengal, assem- 
bled a large fleet and army. By liberal offers he de- 
tached the Portuguese from the service of Arakan, and 
o-ave them land on a branch of the Megna south of 
Dacca, still known as Peringibazar. The Mogul army 


under Um6d Khan in 1666 laid siege to Chittagaon, and 
the Arakanese having lost their fleet, abandoned the city 
and endeavoured to escape. About two thousand were 
made prisoners and sold as slaves. More than twelve 
hundred pieces of cannon, most of them jingals carry- 
ing balls not exceeding one pound, were found in the 
city. Chittagaon, which the kings of Arakan had pos- 
sessed for a century and a quarter, was lost, and since that 
time the Arakanese have never, except during plunder- 
ing incursions, held any of the country north of E^mu. 
S"the mt™^o? Sanda Thudhamm^ Eajl reigned for the long period 
loreign guards, pf thirty- two years, and in 1684 was succeeded by his 
son, who took the title of Thiri Thuriya DhammS, E^jS,. 
For a century no external danger threatened Arakan, 
but the country suffered from internal disorder. The 
archers of the guard, whose numbers appear to have 
been maintained or increased by fresh arrivals of men, 
of the same race from Northern India, began to assert 
their superior energy. They gradually acquired power, 
and they exercised it without scruple for their own ends. 
The events of the next hundred years may be sum- 
marised in a few sentences. The king, Thiri Thuriya, 
the queen, and 1 the inferior women of the palace were 
murdered by the guards, and the treasury was plundered. 
The brother of the murdered king was placed on the 
throne with the title of Wara Dhamma E^j§,. He pro- 
mised to give as monthly pay to each private of the 
guard four taki,ls of silver, about equivalent in value 
at the present time to twenty rupees. Being unable 
to fulfil his engagement, the guards mutinied. The 
palace was set on fire, and the puppet king with dif- 
ficulty escaped. The bodyguard, after plundering the 
city, retired, and for some time maintained themselves 
in the country. A peace was at last agreed to, and the 
king returned to his capital. But once more he was 
*.D. 92. deposed and contemptuously allowed to leave and go 

wherever he pleased. 


His brother was placed on the throne with the title 
of Muni Thudhamml E§,ja. Before long he was 
murdered, as also was a younger brother. For several 
years the guards deposed and set up one puppet king 
after another. The native chronicler laments that for 
more than twenty years the country was at the mercy of 
a band of foreign robbers. At length an Arakanese of Native authority 
determined character, styled Maha Danda Bo, gathered ''^*'°'''"^- 
round him a body of devoted men and dispersed or 
expelled the guards, who from that time lost their 
power. The native chief became king, with the title ^.n. 1710- 
of Tsanda Wijaya. He had the support of ten influ- 
ential nobles. He again established the authority of 
Arakan towards the north, as, after the death of the 
Emperor Aurungzebe, the Mogul power east of the 
Fenny had declined. He had a war with the Eaj4 of 
Tippera, and made an incursion as far as Sundeep and 
Hattaya, returning with much plunder and many 
prisoners ; but he only retained possession of the 
country as far as Eamu. He also made an expedition 
to the eastward across the mountains into the Ir§,wadi 
valley. His troops occupied Prome and advanced to 
Malwun, .while he himself remained in observation at 
Mendun. The object of this expedition appears to have 
been to take advantage of the weak state into which the 
kingdom of Burma had fallen under Maraung Eatana 
Daraga and his successor. The king of Arakan, how- 
ever, had to retire without having effected any object 
of importance. Soon after his return home he was 
deposed and put to death by his son-in-law, who be- 
came king with the title of Chanda Thuriya ES,ja. 
After him several adventurers took the throne in 
rapid succession, and even a foreigner called Katra 
for a few days held the palace. Next, ISTarS-apaya a.d. 1742. 
gained the kingdom, and as his reign extended over 
nineteen years, he lived to see Arakan hemmed in on 
one side by the conquests of Alaunghpra, and on the 



January i, 
A.D. 1761. 

other by the British, to whom the district of Chitta- 
gaon was ceded. In the Arakan chronicle the author 
records with awe repeated shocks of earthquake in 
the last year of this king's reign which seemed to fore- 
bode the downfall of the kingdom. So great was the 
terror that the king changed his name and abode, 
hoping by this childish expedient to elude the threat- 
ened vengeance of the occult powers of nature. But 
a more terrible shock came in the following year, 
when Parama E§,ja was on the throne. The sea re- 
tired (so the chronicler describes this great convul- 
sion) along the whole coast to the extent of three 
cubits perpendicular. In some places the sudden 
elevation of the land far exceeded that amount. As 
if to fulfil the gloomy prognostications of the sooth- 
sayer, from this time there is nothing to record but 
change of dynasty or the struggles of aspirants to the 
throne. The ancient kingdom of Arakan, weakened 
by constant strife among her own children, was soon 
to be the prey of the successors of AlaunghprS,, and 
was destined only to find rest when annexed to the 
empire of British India. 

Note on the Earthquakes 0/ 1761 and 1762 recorded in the 
History of Arakan. 

The great earthquake of 1762 is still known by tradition 
among the inhabitants of the country. There is an account of 
it in letters written during that year by Europeans, and the 
effect of it in raising the land along the sea-coast of Arakan, and 
depressing it farther north on the border of Bengal, have been 
described by geologist^ and other observers within the present 

In the "Philosophical Transactions," vol. liii., there are two 
accounts of an earthquake, as observed at Chittagaon on 2d 
April 1762. One is a translation from the report of a Persian 
Munshi, and the other is contained in a letter from the Eev. 
Mr. Hirst, dated Calcutta, November 2, 1762. Both accounts 
state that the earthquake was very severe. In the latter it is 


mentioned that an English, merchant, who was at the time at 
the metropolis of Arakan, described the effects " as having been 
as fatal as at Lisbon." These statements prove that the account 
m the Arakanese history is not exaggerated. For the evidence 
of upheaval of the coast, ancient and recent, the amount of the 
latter varying at different points from 6 feet to 22 feet, see the 
following works : — 

" Asiatic Researches,'' vol. ii., report by Mr. Eenben Barrow, 
who surveyed part of the coast of Arakan, a.d. 1788. 

"Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal," vol. x., 1841, report 
on Cheduba by Captain Halstead, E.N. 

"Records of the Geological Survey of India," vol. xi., 1878, 
report by F. R. Mallett on the mud volcanoes of Eamri and 

( i84 ) 


Naungdoagyl succeeds to the throne — Rebellion of Meng Khaung Noa- 
rahta — The governor of Taungu rebels — Death of Talabto — Death 
of Naungdoagyl — Hsengbyusheng becomes king — Preparations 
against Siam — Manipur — City of Ava reoccupied — Operations in 
Zimme and Laos — March of the southern and northern armies on 
Siam — Capital of Siam invested — City taken — Origin of war with 
China — Chinese army appears at Kyaingtun — Chinese invasion by 
the Momien route — Burmese measures for resistance — Operations 
at Mogaung and in the north — Chinese main army retires from 
Burma — Burmese generals return to Ava — Third invasion by the 
Chinese — -The Burmese armies meet the invaders — Burmese vic- 
tory — Chinese retreat to their own country — Fourth invasion by 
the Chinese — The Chinese generals sue for peace — A convention 
agreed to. 

Nanngdoagyj AlaunghpeA, at his death, left six sons by his first wife. 

SUCC6CQS to til6 

throne. He had expressed a wish that those of his sons who 

survived him should succeed to the throne in the order 
of their seniority. The eldest son, who was AinshS- 
meng, or heir-apparent, had remained at the capital as 
regent during the Siamese expedition. He is styled in 
Burmese history Naungdoagyi. Though at first there 
was in the attitude of MySdu Meng some appearance of 
opposition, it soon became evident that he intended to 
be loyal to his elder brother; but resistance to the 
Ainsh^meng was made by the most trusty officer of 
Alaunghpr^, the cause of which has not been explained. 
When My^du Meng left the army to bear the body of 
his father to Motsobo, the command devolved upon 
Meng Khaung ISToarahtS,. He led the remnant of the 


army to Taungu, where a brother of AlaunghprS, was 
governor. The governor, acting upon orders from the 
capital, where suspicion of the designs of the general 
had been excited, attempted to arrest him. He escaped Rebellion of 
the snare which had been laid for him, and seeins no Noafahu™"^ 
safety for himself but in resistance, marched to Ava, a.d. 1760, about 
and, expelling the governor of that city, occupied it. ^s"*"' J""«- 

The king sent him a friendly message, inviting him 
to come without fear to the royal presence. He, well 
knowing that forgiveness was impossible, refused. 
Naungdoagyi, without delay, marched on Ava, and, 
establishing his headquarters at Sagaing, closely in- 
vested the city. All attacks were repulsed by the 
garrison, but famine did its work, and the rebel general, 
seeing that surrender was inevitable, fled from the city, 
accompanied by a few horsemen, in December 1760. About the 5th. 
Not far from the city he separated from his escort and 
was shot in the jangal. The city surrendered shortly 

During the siege Captain Alves, who had commanded 
one of the English ships anchored off Negrais when the 
massacre occurred on that island, appeared at Sagaing 
with letters from the governors of Bengal and Madras. 
He was admitted to an audience, but was treated with August 23, 

' . A.D. 1760. 

great indignity, and all compensation was peremptorily 
refused, on the ground that Mr. Whitehill and the 
governor of Negrais were the aggressors, while the 
presence of Mr. Southby, who had lately arrived and 
was innocent of any offence, was an accident which 
could not have been foreseen. He was included with 
the rest just, it was said, with lofty indifference to casual 
suffering, as herbs are consumed along with noxious 
weeds when ground is cleared by burning for useful 
purposes. Some English prisoners who were still de- 
tained at Eangoon were ordered to be released, and 
permission was given for the East India Company to 
occupy land for a factory at Bassein. 

1 86 


Governor of 
Taungu rebels. 

Death of Tala- 

Death of 

becomes king. 

ugaiust Siam. 

February 7, 
A.D. 1764. 

In the following year the king's uncle, who still 
governed Taungu, fell under suspicion. He failed to 
obey a summons to submit himself, and the king 
inarched with an army to reduce him to obedience. 
The city was encompassed by a high wall, beyond 
which was an earthen rampart with a broad and deep 
moat. The king himself remained in camp directing 
the operations. During the blockade the famous com- 
mander Talab§,n, who was now in the service of the 
king of Zimmfe, entered the territory of Martaban with 
a considerable force, and for a time appeared to threaten 
an attack on the besieging army. It was not until 
January 1762 that the city surrendered. The king 
pardoned his uncle, and without delay ordered a march 
on Zimmfe to punish the insult which had been offered 
by an invasion of Burmese. territory. Talab§,n was still 
at the head of a force in the country between the rivers 
Salwln and Thaungyin. He, his wife, and family were 
captured ; and though in the Burmese history it is stated 
that his life was spared, it is to be feared that the 
general who had nobly fought for the cause of the last 
king of Pegu, was secretly put to death. The expedi- 
tion against Zimmfe was successful. The capital of that 
state was occupied, without much difficulty. The re- 
maining months of the reign of Naungdoagyi passed 
withoujb any important incident. He devoted himself 
to erecting religious buildings, and while so employed 
died suddenly about the end of November 1763. 

His next brother, MySdu Meng, who has since be- 
come known as Hsengbyusheng, succeeded without 
opposition. He inherited his father's energy and mili- 
tary talent, and soon after his accession took preliminary 
measures for future operations against Siam, to avenge 
the insult which Alaunghpr^ had received at Ayuthia. 
He reinforced the army at Zimmfe with twenty thousand 
men under Thihapate. New officials were appointed to 
the provinces in all parts of the empire, including the 


Sh§,n states to the north of the capital. The same year, 
as the position of Muthsobo was felt to be inconvenient 
for the seat of government, orders were given to rebuild 
Ava. In November an army of twenty thousand men 
under Mah§, NoarahtS,, which had been raised in the 
lower provinces, marched from Martaban on Tavoy to 
operate against Siam from the south-west. 

Not content with the extensive preparations against Expedition to 
Siam, the king, in boundless confidence in his for- '""p""'' 
tune and resources, determined at once to punish the 
chief of Manipur for some incursions which his sub- 
jects had made on the frontier. At the close of the 
rainy season, an army marched from the capital west- a.d. 1764. 
ward to Kannimyu on the Hkyengdwen, and there 
waited for the king, who went by water. The army of 
Manipur was defeated. The E§,ja and his family fled 
to the hills. The chief city was taken, and hundreds 
of people were carried off as captives. The king returned, 
to his capital in April 1765. While his armies were The city nf Ava 

. . , ,. . . ^. reoccupied. 

operating in the distant enterprise against siam, the 
building of the palace at Ava was completed by the 
middle of April, when the king and his whole court a.d. 1766. 
proceeded to that city. The large population which 
soon gathered, and the numerous foreign traders who 
established themselves, showed the advantages of this 
site for the capital over that of the native city of the 
founder of the dynasty. 

Thihapatfe, who had been sent to command the forces operations in 
in Zimmfe, reduced the whole of the territory to obedi- Laos. 
ence. In order to secure his rear when he should 
advance to the capital of Siam, he marched against the 
king of Lengzeng, whose capital was then Muanglim, 
on the river Mekhaung, to the north-east of Zimm^.i 
The king at the head of his forces met the Burmese ' 

' This is the town where the the river and proceeded by land 
expedition from French Cochin- to Kyaingtun. 
China under M. de Lagr^e left 


army some days' march from his capital and was de- 
feated. Thihapat^ marched on the city, and the king 
submitted and agreed to be tributary to the king of 
Burma. Eeturning south, the general fixed his head- 
quarters at Lagwun, subdued all the Sh§,n states east- 
wards, levied contributions, and forced the chiefs to 
supply auxiliary contingents to his army. 
March of the Mahti JSToaraht^, who commanded the southern army, 

southern army . . . . „ 

on siam. rcmamed at Tavoy durmg the rainy season of 1705. He 

received reinforcements from Pegu, and resumed his 
march about the middle of October. Proceeding south- 
ward to within a few marches of Mergui, he crossed the 
mountain range of the peninsula nearly by the route 
which had been followed by Alaunghpra, and reached 
Kamburi. Marching from thence direct on Ayuthia, he 
had a severe battle with the Siamese to the west of that 
city, in which he was victorious. He took many prisoners, 
elephants, and guns. Not hearing of the army marching 
from Zimmfe under Thihapate, he halted at Kannl, a 
village in the neighbourhood of the Siamese capital. 

jtarchofthe Tjjg northern army marched from Lagwun about 

iiorthera army. ** o 

A.D. 1765. the middle of August. Thihapate had under his com- 

mand more than forty thousand men, chiefly Sh§,ns. 
As he proceeded south he was much delayed by the 
resistance of the towns of some petty chiefs. At length 
all opposition was overcome, and the army having 
received additional Shan troops, assembled at Pitsalauk, 
a town on a branch of the Men^m in its upper course. 
The route was pursued down the valley of the river. 
The Siamese attacked the invaders, but were repulsed 

Capital of siam with heavy loss : and Thihapate, continuing his march, 
took up a position on the east side of Aynthia about 
the 20th of January 1766. Mah4 Noarahta moved his 
camp to the north-west of the city, where communica- 
tion with his colleague was more easy. The centre of 
his new position was at a pagoda which had been built 
by Bureng Naung. 


The king of Siam had made careful preparations to Progress ot 

T « T the siege. 

defend his capital. The fortifications consisted of a 
high brick wall with a broad wet ditch. There were 
numerous guns or jingals mounted. The king, advised 
by his minister, Baya Kuratit, attacked the force under 
Thihapatfe before the junction of the two armies had 
been effected. The attack failed, and a few days later, 
when a sally was made against the army of Maha Noa- 
rahtS,, a desperate battle ensued, in which the Siamese 
were defeated with the loss of several thousand men 
killed and made prisoners. The two Burmese armies now 
completely hemmed in the city with a line of works. The 
place was too strong and too well defended to be taken 
by assault, and as time passed and no signs of surrender 
appeared, the approach of the dreaded rainy season with 
the rise of the river, which more than once in former 
times had saved the city, caused alarm among the 
besiegers. Many officers of high rank advised MahS, 
Noaraht^ to retreat to another position until the dry 
season; but he firmly refused, and was supported by his 
colleague Thihapat^. When the water rose and flooded 
the country, the besiegers occupied such bits of high 
ground as there were, and threw up dykes to keep out 
the water. They had collected hundreds of boats, which 
were kept fully manned, but the line of intrenchment 
round the city was for the time rendered useless. The 
Siamese made attacks, both by land and water, on the 
Burmese, who now were broken up into separate corps ; 
but these attacks were unsuccessful. 

When the waters subsided, the Burmese commanders, 
with steady persevering labour, again began the con- 
struction of earthworks round the city, and gained more 
complete command of the river than before. The citizens 
became straitened for provisions. A body of Sh^ns from ' 
the north attempted to relieve the city by an attack on 
the besiegers, but were repulsed and dispersed. The 
king of Siam, with his family and a number of the lead- 



C'it-y taken, 
Axjnl, A.D. 1767. 

Origin of war 
"With Chiua. 

ing inhabitants, attempted to escape, but were driven 
back. The king, in despair, wrote to the Burmese 
generals offering to become tributary to Burma. The 
reply was in 'contemptuous terms, and required uncon- 
ditional surrender. Just at this time Mah^ JSToarahta 
died. But this event did not affect the operations of the 
war. Eeinforcements and orders to persevere came from 
Ava. The Burmese, having command of the whole 
resources of the country, successfully prevented food 
supplies from entering the city. The garrison, unable 
any longer to defend the walls, yielded to a general 
attack by the besiegers. The city was entirely destroyed 
by fire.^ The king, Ek§,datha E^jS,, was killed in the 
confusion. His brother, Br^un Soas§,n, recognised the 
body near the western gate of the palace. The queen 
and the whole of the royal family were taken prisoners 
and carried away captive. Immense treasures and stores 
of war material were found in the palace. The conquest 
was effected at a critical moment for Burmese interests. 
Thihapat^ had received orders to return home, for the 
Burmese monarchy was once more threatened by a 
Chinese invasion. The army, marching rapidly, reached 
Ava in July ; the Sh^n auxiliaries were allowed to re- 
turn to their own countries. 

A series of petty misunderstandings on the frontier 
of China had led to an invasion of Burma from that 
country. In the spring of 1765 a Chinese merchant 
named Loali arrived on the frontier, coming by the 
Momien route, with a large drove of oxen laden with 
merchandise. In order to cross the river Tapeng, he 
wished to construct a bridge at the village ]Sr§,nb^, and 
applied to the governor of Bamoa for permission to do 

^ In the history of Siam it is 
correctly stated that this siege 
occupied nearly two years, 1766 
and 1767 A.D. In a brief history 
of Siam published in the Chinese 
Repository, and said to have been 
written by the king of Siam, this 

siege is confused with that by Al- 
aunghpra in 1760. The date for 
the capture of the city is given 
as March 1767. See Bowring's 
Siam, vol. i. p. 58, and vol. ii. 
P- 347- 


so. The merchant, annoyed at the delay -which occurred 
in attending to his application, uttered some words in 
his own language which were interpreted to the gover- 
nor as being disrespectful. The governor sent him to 
Ava as a prisoner. The authorities there released him, 
and gave orders that he might build the bridge and 
pursue his vocation. On returning to Bamoa, where his 
merchandise had been left, he complained that some of 
the packages had been opened and a portion of the 
goods abstracted, and he demanded compensation. The 
officials replied that his own men had remained in 
charge of the bales, and they refused to inquire into 
the complaint. Loali then departed, and, on arrival 
at Momien, complained of the treatment he had re- 
ceived. He went on to the city of Yunnan, where 
the governor received his statement and noted the 
facts. Soon after another dispute took place at a 
distant point of the frontier. A Chinese merchant 
named Loat&ri arrived, with several followers, at a 
mart in the territory of the Sh§,n state of Kyaingtun, 
and there sold goods on credit.^ Payment was refused 
by the purchaser, a quarrel arose, and in the affray 
which ensued a Chinaman was killed. At that time 
the Soabwa of Kyaingtun was in Ava. The Sitk^, who 
was the next in authority, received the complaint of 
the merchant, who demanded that either the manslayer 
or a substitute, to be made responsible for the crime, 
should be delivered up to him. The Sitkg replied that 
he would give the amount of fine payable according to 
Burmese law in such cases. The Chinese merchant 
refused this offer, and left for his own country. He 
proceeded to the city of Yunnan and complained to the 
governor. Some Sh^n nobles and a nephew of the 
SoabwS, of Kyaingtun, who had offended the Burmese 
o-overnment, were at this time refugees in that city. 

1 Captain W. C. MTieod heard the same story when at Kyaingtun 
in 1837. See his Journal, p. 60. 


They excited the Chinese officials to demand satisfac- 
tion with a threat of making war should it not be 
given. The general of the frontier petitioned the em- 
peror, who ordered that Kyaingtun was to be attacked 
and justice enforced. A document was posted at a ford 
on the Taloa river,i making a formal demand that the 
homicide or a substitute should be surrendered. No 
reply having been sent to this summons, a Chinese 
Chinese army armv advauced and surrounded the town of Kyaingtun. 

appears at Ky- ^ ^ . 

aingtun. The Soabw^ of Kyaingtun had joined the invaders. 

_, An army had marched from Ava in December 1765 to 
support the Sitk^ of Kyaingtun. It was under the 
command of Letw^wengmhu. He approached the town 
and forced the Chinese investing army to retreat. It 
retired towards the Mekong river, and in a combat there 
the Chinese general was killed. The chief of Kyaing- 
tun now made his submission, saying that he had been 
coerced by the Chinese. A garrison was placed in Ky- 
aingtun and the bulk of the Burmese army returned 

April, A.D. 1766. to Ava. 

The king of Burma, viewing with alarm the state of 
his rektions with China, determined to place a garrison 
at Kaungtun, a town on the Irawadi, a few miles below 
Bamoa. This precautionary measure had not long been 
adopted when it was reported that a large Chinese 
army had appeared on the frontier near Momien. It 

tovrslon by tiie marched into the Burmese territory and took ap a posi- 

Momien.route. ^ion at the Mwglun mountain, which lies to the south 
of the Tab branch of the Tapeng river. The army of 
invasion was under two leading generals, Ylng Khun 
Tareng and Hseng Tel Loareng. The Burmese garrison 
at Kaungtun was reinforced and the stockade strength- 
ened. The commander there was Balamenhteng, a bold 

^ This is the name given to the road from that town to Kyainghun. 

river in the Burmese history. It is Kyaingtun is still a great thorough- 

however thenameof atown onthe fare for Chinese traders going to 

Melem or Melam river, fifty-four the Shsln states west of the Salwin. 

miles north of Kyaingtun, on the M'Leod's Journal, pp. 59 and 65. 


and active officer. The plan of the Chinese generals 
appears to have been to occupy Bamoa; to advance 
from thence on Ava ; and to collect boats in order to 
gain command of the river Irlwadi. At the same time 
they appear to have been in communication with the 
Soabwa of Mogaung, who was disaffected towards the 
Burmese king, and from whom they might receive im- 
portant assistance. The Burmese Government, though 
knowing the general objects of the invaders, had not 
been sufficiently on the alert, and with the Siamese 
war on their hands, to support which constant reinforce- 
ments were required, must have felt a difficulty in rais- 
ing men. But though attacked by so powerful an 
enemy, they met the invader with a determined spirit 
which deserves high praise. 

The Chinese generals, in pursuance of their plan, 
detached from their position at the Mw^lun mountain 
a column under Eengsut^reng by the Mowun (Muang- 
wan) route to Bamoa. A division was also posted at the 
intermediate position of Thinzanw^lim to keep up the 
communication with the headquarter army. At Bamoa 
the commander built a stockade on the bank of the river, 
and leaving there a part of his force in garrison, pushed 
on to Kaungtun. Balamenhteng had, with unwearied 
diligence, strengthened his post, and being well sup- 
plied with fire-arms, awaited the onset of the enemy 
with confidence. The Chinese commander made des- 
perate efforts to capture the post, but failed, suffering 
a heavy loss of men, and finally drew off; But success 
here was of too much importance for the enterprise to 
be abandoned, and he entrenched himself in a camp 
near the fort waiting for reinforcements. 

The king of Burma had dispatched a force by water Burmese men- 
up the Ir^wadi under Letwewengmhu to proceed to anoe!° "^'^ " 
Bamoa, while a column under wungyi Maha Slthu 
marched by the western bank of the river on Mogaung. 
These bodies started from the capital about the middle 



A n- '767. of January. Letwgwengmhu on the way up, hearing 

that Kaungtun was invested, threw some reinforce- 
ments and a- supply of ammunition into the place 
from the river face. He then sent a division to Bamoa, 
which attacked and carried the Chinese entrenched 
position there. With the bulk of his command he re- 
mained in observation on the west bank of the Irawadi, 
while by his superior flotilla he held command of the 
river. He next attacked the Chinese entrenched post 
near Kaungtun and forced the garrison to retire on the 
fortified position at ThinzanwMim. He followed them 
up and dislodged them from that position, inflicting 
upon them a heavy loss in men, arms, and horses. 
They retreated to Mowun. The Chinese invaders had 
now been driven from the posts they had occupied on 
and near to the Irawadi, south of Bamoa, and had 
lost the boats they had collected for operations on 
the river. 

Operations at The corps uudcr the command of Mah^ Sithu, by a 

JlDgaung and m -"^ ' •' 

tiie north. rapid march reached Mogaung before the Chinese could 
arrive. He made such arrangements for the defence of 
the town as time allowed. He then advanced to meet the 
invading force, which, under Hsengt^loareng, was march- 
ing by Sanda in a north-westerly direction to a point on 
the Irawadi in order to cross that river. The Chinese 
commander had no boats and took post at Lisoa hill, 
arranging means to pass to the right bank. MahS, Sithu 
did not allow him time for this, but marching from 
Mogaung, crossed the Irawadi to the left bank, and sent 
on a reconnoitring party of five hundred musketeers. 
This party fell in with a body of a thousand Chinese 
horsemen. The musketeers retired to a mountain defile. 
The Chinese cavalry followed headlong, and, cooped up 
in a narrow pass blocked with boulders, sustained a 
heavy loss from the fire of the musketeers. The Bur- 
mese commander, finding the Chinese position on the 
Lisoa hill too strong to be attacked in front, halted on 


the Nanmyin stream, and sent two divisions to circle 
round it right and left. This movement was concealed 
by the thick woods, and the Chinese general, leaving 
one-third of his force on the hill, marched to attack the 
Burmese on the ]Sr§,nmyin. The force left on the hill, 
supposing the enemy to be only in front, and to be held 
in check by their main body, was careless, and allowed 
itself to be surprised and cut up by the two Burmese 
divisions. The main body of the Chinese under Hseng- 
t^loareng retired hastily to Sanda. Mah^ Sithu then took 
post with his whole army at Muangla, which would 
enable him to intercept the retreat of the Chinese to 
their own country. He had conducted the operations 
successfully, but being ill, was now succeeded in the 
command by Letwewengmhu. The Chinese army was 
suffering from want of provisions. The main body, Chinese main 
which had originally been posted at the MwSlun moun- frS' Burma. 
tain, had been reduced, by continued requisitions to 
supply reinforcements, to a small number; and this, 
with the remnant of the division under Hsengt§,loareng, 
retreated to the Chinese territory. 

At a late period of the campaign a Chinese column Burmese gene- 

rrn • /• • 1 ^^^ return to 

had appeared on the Thmnt frontier, and menaced the Ava. 
capital by that route. This column was attacked on 
two sides : by a force under Maha Thihathura, marching 
from Kyainghun, where he had held command during 
the Siamese war ; and by the troops of Letwewengmhu 
moving down from the north. The invading column 
was driven back, and the two victorious generals arrived 
in Ava with the captured guns, muskets,' and prisoners, 
early in May. The eight Sh^n states in the basin of 
the Tapeng river, which had for centuries, though not a.d. 1767. 
continuously, been included in the Chinese empire, were 
now reunited to Burma. 

The Chinese generals had grossly mismanaged the 
campaign. They divided their forces into detached 
bodies which could not support each other, and thus 


exposed them to be separately attacked and over- 
powered. The late appearance of an isolated column 
at Thinnt was not likely to retrieve failure elsewhere, 
and the movement itself was feebly made. The Bur- 
mese commanders, with inferior numbers in the field, 
skilfully took advantage of the blunders of their oppo- 
nents. They are entitled to great praise for their ener- 
getic defence of their country against an invader who 
not only had a numerical superiority in the field, but 
enjoyed the repute of former conquest and long acknow- 
ledged ascendancy. But the Burmese history, which 
states the original number of the enemy to have been 
250,000 men and 25,000 horses, greatly exaggerates the 
strength of the invaders. 

The emperor of China, Kienlung, a competent civil ad- 
ministrator, but no warrior, was determined not to allow 
what he considered a petty barbarian power, successfully 
to resist the armies of the son of heaven. To the dismay of 
the Burmese king, towards the end of the year a Chinese 
Third invasion army, morc numerous than that which had invaded the 

by tlie Ctiinese, , * l^ • iji^,. i 

A-D. 1767. country m the previous year, crossed the frontier and 

advanced to Thinni. It was under the command of two 
generals, the emperor's son-in-law, Myinkhunrfe, and the 
emperor's younger brother, Suttlloar^. This was the main 
army of invasion, and smaller columns, intended appa- 
rently to divert attention, were marching, one on Bamoa 
by the route south of the Tapeng river, by way of Thin- 
zanwSlim, and a second on Momeit, by the route south 
of the Shwfelfe river. 

The main army entered Thinni without opposition. 
The SoabwS. at once submitted, and furnished whatever 
the enemy required from him. The Chinese generals 
commenced the construction of a stockade to the south- 
west of the town, as a depot for stores and station for 

Burmese armies Au army Under MahS. Sithu left Ava about the 

meet tlie in- 

vaders middle of December to oppose the main body of the 


invaders. It marched by Thonz^ and Thtboa, the object 
being to operate on the front of the Chinese. A second 
army under MahS, Thihathura inarched two days later, 
taking an easterly route to oppose the same body, by 
intercepting their supplies and circling round to attack 
them in rear. A column under LetwSwengmhu also 
marched north to oppose the invaders advancing by the 
valley of the Shwfelfe on Momeit. 

When the army under Maha Sithu had advanced 
beyond Thiboa they encountered the Chinese under 
Myinkhunrfe. The invaders were far superior in num- 
bers and the Burmese were defeated. MahS, Sithu then 
retreated down the line of the Myitngfe. "Considerable 
alarm prevailed in the city, but the king was un- 
daunted, and calmly issued his orders for defence. 

The column under Mah^ Thihathura marched by the 
route south of the Myitnge. The Chinese army drew 
large supplies of provisions from the country east of 
the Salwin, and had a dep6t in a stockade at Lasho, 
west of that river. This stockade was taken and many 
convoys intercepted. A detachment was also sent, 
which occupied the Taku ferry on the Salwin, where 
a large number of laden horses and mules were cap- 
tured. Mahk Thihathura with his main body pushed on 
to Thinni, where the Chinese general, Sutaloarfe, com- 
manded in the stockade. The Burmese entered the Burmese 

VIC tow 

city and the SoabwS, fled to the stockade. The Chinese 
garrison soon became straitened for provisions — the ar- 
rival of which had been intercepted — and the Burmese 
commander cut off their water supply. The Chinese 
soldiers began to desert. The general, a younger 
brother of the emperor, according to the Burmese 
"history, seeing only death or surrender before him, 
committed suicide. The garrison, utterly disheartened, 
ceased to make resistance, and the Burmese entered 
the stockade. The Burmese general, leaving a garrison 


in the place, marched without delay on Thiboa, in order 
to operate on the rear of Myinkhunrfe. 

That Chinese general had not followed up his first 
success with vigour. In his march on Ava, which he 
hoped to enter, and so close the war, he found the 
Burmese army under Mah4 Sithu in position at Lunk^- 
pyingyl. About the same time he heard of the defeat 
and death of his colleague. This news made him irre- 
solute. The Burmese general, dreading the anger of 
the king, and burning to retrieve his former defeat, 
made a night attack on the Chinese. It was success- 
ful ; and Myinkhunr^, abandoning the line by which 
The Chinese j^g had advanced from Thinni, retreated to Taungbaing. 

retreat to their ' o o 

own country. There he took post on a hill. Mahi Slthu followed him 
up, and was soon joined by the victorious column of 
Mah^ Thlhathura. The Chinese general now made no 
further attempt to carry out the original object of the 
invasion, but retreated precipitately from the Burmese 
territory. The invading divisions which had marched 
against Bamoa and Momeit had effected nothing, and 
retired by joining the main body under Myinkhunre. 

4.D. 1768. By the middle of March the last of the enemy's troops 

had been driven across the Salwtn, and the Burmese 
generals returned to the capital. 

Foiirth invasion But Burma had to struggle once more against the 

by the Chinese. n 1 i 

attack of a powerful and persevering foe. It was with 
a heavy heart that the king again prepared to resist 
invasion; for the dreaded omen of' the great national 
pagodas being rent by earthquake seemed to portend 
coming disaster. Vast treasures were lavished in re- 
pairing damage to the hti or crowns of the Shweztgun 
at Pug§,n and of the Shwe Dagun at Eangoon ; while 
in these shrines were deposited gold and silver images 
in thousands, in hope that the threatened vengeance of 
the invisible powers might thereby be averted. 

Hardly had the solemn ceremonies with which these 
offerings were presented been completed, when the 


governors of Bamoa and Kaungtun reported the ap- 
pearance of a powerful Chinese army on the frontier. 
It was commanded by three principal generals, whose 
names or titles, as given in the Burmese history, are 
Sukunrfe, Akunrfe, and Ywunkunrfe. They moved down 
the valley of the Tapeng to the Yoayi mountain, where 
they halted and detached a division under Hsengtart, 
to march on Mogaung. In an adjoining forest they 
felled suitable trees, which were shaped into planks, 
and were then conveyed to a suitable spot higher up 
the Irlwadi, where boats were to be built. They had 
brought many carpenters for this service, and the duty 
of carrying out their orders was intrusted to Loat§,ri, 
with an adequate force at his disposal. Having made 
these arrangements, the three generals proceeded on 
towards Bamoa. 

To meet this formidable invasion the king sent an 
army under the master of the ordnance, Thihathu, 
which left Ava in the last week of September, and a-d. 1769- 
marched on Mogaung by the west bank of the Ir§,wadi. 
A second army, of which MahS, Thihathura was com- 
mander-in-chief, moved in boats up the river, designed 
to meet the invaders at or near Bamoa ; while the ele- 
phants and the cavalry, under the Momit Soabwa and 
Kyoateng Eaja, marched north by the east bank of the 

The Chinese plan of operations was generally similar 
to that of the campaign of 1767. The three generals, 
marching in the direction of Bamoa, did not enter that 
town, but constructed a strong stockade at Shwfeng- 
yaungbeng, twelve miles east of Kaungtun. Ywun- 
kunr^ was left in command there, while the other two 
generals proceeded with the bulk of the force to invest 
Kaungtun. Balamenghteng commanded there. The 
Chinese generals made many attacks on the place, both 
from the land side and from the river face, by means of 
the boats they brought down the river. Balamenghteng 


well sustained the reputation lie had gained, and the 
Chinese were repulsed with great slaughter. 

Maha Thihathura had been somewhat slow in his 
movement up the river, but at length he reached 
Tagaung. He sent on a division in light boats to 
throw reinforcements of men and ammunition into 
Kaungtun, which service was effected, and many of 
the Chinese boats were destroyed or taken. A Burmese 
officer, S^nhMgyi, built a stockade on the river bank 
below Kaungtun, while the remainder of the division 
occupied an island on the west bank opposite Kaung- 
tun. The Chinese had now lost command of the river. 
Mahk Thihathura, continuing his progress by river 
from Tagaung, joined the division on the island, direct- 
ing operations from that station, and keeping his own 
force as a reserve to be used when required. The 
elephants and cavalry, with a strong division under 
Letwewengmhu, who now took, command of this 
column, continued marching by the east bank on 
Momit, there to await further orders. The commander- 
in-chief also sent a column under Tingy^ Mengk- 
haung to the east bank of the river above Bamoa, to 
cut off supplies coming to the Chinese force, which 
was still investing Kaungtun on the land side. The 
column under the Letwewengmhu marched boldly on 
towards Kaungtun, and defeated a Chinese detached 
force sent against it. Tingy^ Meng Khaung, approach- 
ing from the north, was equally successful in an attack 
on him. The result of these engagements was, that 
the Chinese generals Sukunrfe and Akunrfe fell back 
on their line of retreat by the Tapeng with half the 
force, while the remainder were compelled to withdraw 
into the great stockade at Shwfengyaungbeng. The 
division under Hsengt&ri, which had marched on 
Mogaung, did not reach that town, and was held in 
check on the east of the Ir^wadi by Thihathu. 

Letw§wengmhu now combined the several divisions 


which were on the east of the Irawadi to attack the 
great stockade. The assault was made simultaneously 
on the four faces of the work, and was successful. The 
Burmese forced an entrance, but, from the great extent 
of the works, they were unable to prevent the escape 
of the Chinese general, Ywunkunrfe, who, with those 
of his men not killed or disabled in the^ attack, fled 
and joined his two colleagues. Several more boats 
belonging to the Chinese were now destroyed, and the 
Burmese having taken immense stores of arms, powder, 
and lead, were enabled to arm several battalions more 
ef&ciently than they were before. 

The commander-in-chief, MahS, Thihathura, now took The ounese 
measures to complete the discomfiture of the invaders. ^ petce.'"'^ 
He sent several thousand fresh men across the river, 
and established his own headquarters on the eastern 
bank. The Chinese generals, discouraged by defeat 
and straitened for .provisions, determined to nego- 
tiate, in order to secure an unmolested retreat. They 
addressed a letter to MahS, Thihathura, in which they 
attributed the war to misunderstanding caused by the 
intrigues of the Soabwas of Thinnl, Bamoa, Mogaung, 
and Kyaingyun. They proposed that these officials, 
then in Chinese territory, should be exchanged for 
the Chinese officers who were prisoners, and that the 
relations of the two countries should be established as 
they were before the war. Mah§, Thihathura called a 
council of his principal officers and asked their opinion. 
They replied that the Chinese had invaded the country 
with a vast army, evidently intending to conquer it. 
The enemy had been defeated, and were now surrounded 
like cows in a pound. In a few days they would be 
still more helpless from hunger, and the officers unani- 
mously recommended that no terms should be granted. 
The commander-in-chief observed it was true that the 
Chinese had wantonly invaded their country, but China 
was a powerful empire, and could send even more men 


than the vast hosts which had already appeared. If 
these men now at their mercy were destroyed, the 
quarrel between the two countries would be perpetuated, 
and great evil would result to future generations. He 
therefore considered it advisable to come to a settle- 
ment with the Chinese generals, and should the king 
disapprove of this course, on him alone would the blame 
rest. The council did not oppose this wise resolution, 
and a conciliatory reply having beea sent to the letter 
of the Chinese generals, and preliminaries having been 
agreed to, fourteen Burmese and thirteen Chinese com- 
missioners, appointed by the commanders-in-chief of 
both armies, met in a temporary building near to Kaung- 

Aconventionfor tun. A documeut Styled "a written contract of settle- 
peace, friend- "^ ,^ 

ship, and com- ment " was drawn up and agreed to by all present. It 

merce agreedto. --,_,. 

December 13, stated lu general terms that peace and friendship were 
to be established as of old between the two great coun- 
tries, and the gold and silver road, or commerce, to be 
open as before ; presents were exchanged between the 
commissioners of both nations, and, in accordance with 
former custom, it was agreed that letters of friendship 
were to be sent every ten years from one sovereign to 
the other. The question of boundary between the two 
countries, which had formed a subject of correspon- 
dence, was not mentioned in the document, nor was 
the surrender of the Soabw^s and prisoners inserted 

The Chinese appear to have still had some boats in 
their possession at the time of the negotiations, but no 
distinct arrangement regarding them had been come to. 
After having used the boats to convey stores to Bamoa, 
they burnt them, instead of giving them up to the 
Burmese, as was expected. This act gave rise to some 
sharp altercation, but the Burmese general contented 
himself with remonstrating. The remnant of the in- 
vading army retired by the route of the Tapeng river, 
watched or escorted by a Burmese corps. Thousands of 


Chinese soldiers died in the mountains of fatigue and 

The campaigns of Chinese armies in Burma from 1765 to 1769 
are noticed very briefly in the histories of China which I have 
had the opportunity of consulting, and Gntzlaff alone tells the 
truth without disguise. 

The war is not noticed in the " Modern Universal History," 
published at London in 1781, which professed to narrate the 
history of China from sources then available in Europe. The 
valuable work of Father de Mailla,^ being a translation from 
Chinese authors, brings the history of the empire down to 
A.D. 1780. The war with Burma during that century does not 
appear to have been mentioned by the Chinese historians, and 
the reverend father adds in a note information supplied to him 
from another source, in the following words : — 

" Le Comte Alikouen, gfo^ral de I'arm^e et ministre d'etat, 
ne rendit dans le Yunnan pour commander les troupes, que 
Kienlong faisoit defiler dans cette province, dans le dessein de 
venger les insultes que les peuples de royaume de Mien ou 
Mienfe'i actuellement soumis au roi du Pegou, etoient venus 
faire dans quelques endroits du Yunnan, province limitrophe du 
Mienfei." 2 

Gutzlaff writes as follows : — 

" A numerous army of Chiuese and Mantchoos invaded Birmah 
in 1767. The Birmahs attacked them vigorously, slew a great 
number, and took many thousand captives. Only a few of the 
invincible soldiers returned to give an account of their total 
defeat. Keenlung was not dismayed. Another army, under the 
celebrated Akwei, was sent. His soldiers were destroyed by 
jungal fever, and he was glad to retreat unmolested, after having 
concluded a treaty with the king of Birmah." ^ 

The origin of the war as narrated in the Burmese history is pro- 
bable, while the events are told clearly and apparently truthfully. 
But the strength of the invading armies is greatly exaggerated. 

Father San Germano states that the success of the Burmese in 
this war resulted "principally, perhaps, by the aid of their heavy 
artillery, served by the Christians, who had established them- 
selves in these parts." In other words, the descendants of Portu- 
guese and French captives. 

1 Histoire de la Chine, Paris, 1778. Eleven volumes. 

2 Vol. xi. p. 581. 

3 Gutzlaff '3 China. London, 1834. Vol. ii. p. 53. 

( 204 ) 



The king disapproves the convention made with the Chinese generals — 
War against Siam — Expedition to Manipur and KachSr — The king 
goes to Rangoon — ^Unsuccessful invasion of Siam — Death of 
Hsengbyusheng — Succession of SinggusS — Plots — Palace seized by 
conspirators — Succession of BodoahprS, — Plots against him — Site 
for a new capital selected — Burmese Doomsday book — Distracted 
state of Arakan — Conquest of Arakan — Invasion of Siam — Plan 
of operations — March to the frontier — Heroic defence by the king 
of Siam — BodoahprS. commences religious buildings — Events in 
Arakan — Envoy from British India to Burma — Further commu- 
nication between the British and Burmese Governments — Attempt 
to arrest the British Resident at Rangoon— Burmese intrigues with 
native princes of India — Disturbances on the frontier of Arakan — 
Events in Assam — Manipur — Death of Bodoahpri — Great reser- 
voirs constructed — Capture of a white elephant — Character of 

The king The invading army having retired, the Burmese general 

c'lnTCntton^ " dispatched to the capital a report of his proceedings, and 
Se chTnese f orwarded the presents which he had received from the 
genera 5. Qhinese commandcrs. Hsengbyusheng, indignant that 

the enemy had been allowed to escape, rejected the 
offerings, and ordered the families of the principal officers 
of the army, including the wife of the commander-in- 
chief, to remain kneeling at the western gate of the 
palace, bearing the presents on their heads. For three 
days and nights they were unnoticed, after which they 
were allowed to withdraw. But when Mah^ Thihathura 
returned to Ava, he and the principal officers were 
banished from the city for one month. From China no 
direct communication as to the convention was made ; 


but Chinese caravans began to arrive according to for- 
mer custom, and the Burmese court allowed trade to go 
on as formerly. 

When the Burmese army was recalled from Siam to war against 
oppose the Chinese invaders, the general, Thihapatfe, car- ^"""' 
ried away the members of the Siamese royal family, 
who had fallen into his hands. There then arose in 
Siam a man named PhayS. TIk, said to be the son of a 
Chinaman, who gathered round him a body of armed 
men, and attacking the retreating Burmese, inflicted 
on them severe losses.^ Having gradually increased his 
followers, he assumed the title of king, brought several 
of the Sh^n states again under Siamese dominion, and 
for greater security for the future, established his capital 
at Bankok. He next conquered Viang Chang, called 
also Chandapuri, then the capital of the principal state of 
Laos, on the Mekong. Later, a Burmese force occupied 
Zimmh, where Thado Mengteng was appointed governor. 
When the opportunity appeared favourable, Hsengbyu- 
sheng determined to recover what he had lost in Siam, 
and an army under Thihapatfe marched to Zivamh. The 
general there assembled the contingents of the Sh^n 
chiefs, and proceeded to Viang Chang, the king of 
which state had implored protection against the Siamese. 
The Burmese governor of Zimme, by his contemp- 
tuous treatment of the Shan chiefs, had roused their 
indignation, and three of them, whom he intended 
to forward as prisoners to Ava, fled from the territory. 
He next disputed the authority of the commander- 
in-chief, Thihapate, who was on his march into Siam 
proper. The general was obliged to halt, partly from 
want of due support from the governor of Zimme 
and partly from the determined front shown by the 
Siamese troops. Meanwhile disasters threatened to 
paralyse the Burmese operations at other points. 

1 Bowling's Siam, vol. i. pp. 58-60 ; also vol. ii. , Appendix A, 
PP- 349-363- 



Expedition to 
Manipur and 

The king goes 
to Rangoon. 

The governor of Martaban, Kamani S§,nda, had embodied 
a force, composed principally of Takings, intended to 
move by Tavoy and Mergui. After a few days' march 
the Taking troops mutinied. K§,mani S§,nda with dif- 
ficulty escaped, and, escorted by a bodyguard of Bur- 
mese soldiers, retired to Martaban. Ifot venturing to 
remain there, he fled to Eangoon, The Taking muti- 
neers under Binya Sin followed him up and besieged 
the stockade. They failed in an attempt to storm it ; 
and as a Burmese army under the governor of My&n- 
aung began to appear,, they withdrew, and returning to 
Martaban, fled into Siam with their wives and children. 
Hsengbyusheng now raised an army of thirty thousand 
men, composed of Burmese and northern Sh^ns, to which 
MahS, Thihathura was appointed general. He moved 
down to Martaban, and prepared to march on the capital 
of Siam. 

These extensive preparations to recover lost ground in 
Siam did not interfere with the king's design to extend 
his dominion towards the north-west. Under the pre- 
tence that the ruler of Manipur had repaired the de- 
fences of his capital since they had been destroyed by 
Alaunghpr^, an army was sent, which not only ravaged 
that state, but pushed on into Kach§,r, and thence north- 
wards across a high mountain-range into Jaintia. The 
invaders suffered immense loss, but the Eajel of Kachar 
had to submit for the time. The remnant of the Bur- 
mese army returned home after two years, having gained 
no advantage to the empire. 

While this predatory excursion was still in progress, 
the king determined to go himself to Eangoon, both to 
be nearer to the scene of operations against Siam, and to 
place a new hti or crown on the great pagoda, Shwe 
Dagun. This was a religious act, which by force of its 
own merit might bring the reward of victory, and it 
was hoped would favourably impress the Taking people. 
The king left Ava and proceeded in grand state down 


the Irawadi. The deposed king of Pegu and his nephew, Middle of De- 

who had remained prisoners for fourteen years, were led ^7™. ^'^' '''"' 

in the royal train. Hsengbyusheng delaying on the 

way while he worshipped pagodas at Pugan and Prome, 

only reached Eangoon after a progress of three months. 

He adorned the great pagoda with a magnificent golden 

jewelled crown, and after this display of religious zeal, 

the captive king of Pegu was with a mockery of justice 

put on his trial before a special tribunal. He was declared 

guilty of having excited the Talaing people to rebellion; 

and was publicly executed. Hsengbyusheng after this Aprfi, ad- 1775- 

cruel deed set out to return to his capital. 

Mah^ Thihathura, having many difficulties to over- unsuccessful 

,. n ,1 • ' T ^ , invasion of 

come m preparations tor the campaign, did not com- siam. 
mence his march from Martaban until the close of the 
rainy season. The route he selected lay eastward, so 
as to gain the upper waters of the Men^m. He reached 
Eahaing with little opposition from the Siamese. Dis- 
sensions among officers of high rank, now the curse of 
the Burmese armies in the field, soon broke out. The 
second in command, ZSya Kyo, protested against the 
plan of operations, and returned to Martaban with a 
portion of the troops. Maha Thihathura persevered in 
his march. He was successful in occupying Pitsalauk 
and Thaukkatai, but suffered a severe defeat from the 
Siamese, and was compelled to make an ignominious 
retreat towards the frontier. 

In the midst of these disasters Hsengbyusheng died Death ot Hseng- 

. byusheng. 

at Ava, and was succeeded by his son Singgusa at the succession of 

ao-e of nineteen years. He was determined to put an June, a.d. 177s. 
end to the Siamese war. But Zgya Kyo by court 
favour was allowed to return to the army, and having 
succeeded in a skirmish with the Siamese, was con- 
sidered to have atoned for his mutinous conduct. The 
armies in the Upper Menam and in the Zimmfe territory 
wBre ordered to withdraw from the Siamese territory, 
where they no longer could remain with safety. Several 


officers suffered death for alleged misconduct before the 
enemy, and Mah§, Thihathura was disgraced and de- 
prived of his office of Wungyi. 
Mots against Singgus^, suspicious of plots, put to death a younger 

piSSizedby brother of his own, and also his uncle, the fourth son 
conspirators, of Alaunghpr^. The fifth son, then known as Badun 
Meng, an astute prince, was sent to live at Sagaing, 
where he was closely watched. The son of Naungdoagyi 
remained. Maung Maung, who was a child at the time 
of his father's death, became an object of anxiety to the 
court party as a probable tool in the hands of conspira- 
tors. He had been brought up in a monastery, and was 
now placed in the village of Phaungka, where it was sup- 
posed he would be less dangerous than elsewhere. The 
king seemed to be satisfied with the precautions taken 
against conspiracy, and wearied with the monotonous 
life in the palace, all warlike expeditions being sus- 
pended, made frequent pilgrimages to distant pagodas. 
He was accustomed to leave the palace, and return 
suddenly after an interval without warning. A con- 
spiracy, which was joined by several influential men, 
was formed against him, and was supposed to be secretly 
supported by Badun Meng. This plot was formed 
on the plausible ground that if the rule of succession 
in favour of the sons of Alaunghprsl were departed 
from, then the son of the eldest, Naungdoagyi, had the 
best claim. As possession of the palace is the chief 
manifestation of right to the throne in Burma, the fre- 
quent absences of Singgus^ soon offered a favourable 
About 8th Feb- Opportunity to the conspirators. The youno- kinc had 
■n. 17 1. ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ chief queen, his mother, and sisters to 
worship at a pagoda about fifty miles up the Irawadi. 
The young prince,' Maung Maung, came suddenly at 
midnight to the palace gate, and his followers demanded 
admission for the king. The guard at the outer gate 
admitted the party without .delay At one of the inner 
gates the guard resisted, but was overpowered. The 


prince at the head of his followers gained possession of 
the palace, and forced the high officials in charge therein, 
to swear allegiance to him as king. In the morning 
several men of rank, old servants under former kings, 
being summoned, arrived at the city and were appointed • 
to office. Maha Thihathura took command of troops to 
defend the palace. The Badun Meng and other members 
of the royal family came to the capital, and remained 
apparently passive. 

Singgusa was at this time at a village about fifty miles 
distant. The next day he heard of the event. He at 
once, with all his retinue, crossed the river to Singgu- 
myu, intending to march down to the city. Hearing 
later that the whole of the capital had turned against 
him, he retired farther north to Sanp^nago. There his 
retinue gradually left him, and at last the crews of the 
royal boats deserting, he was left with only a few fol- 
lowers and his own relations. 

In the palace, the Atwen Wuns, ministers for personal ^™^°„\^^'°!|i°^ 
affairs, quickly came to the conclusion that the boy 
Maung Maung was utterly unfit to rule. All who had 
abetted the' conspiracy looked to the Badun Meng as the 
fittest to occupy the throne. He, prepared for the occa- 
sion, at once referred to the declaration of Alaunghpra 
on his deathbed, that his sons should succeed him 
according to their seniority. Already he had collected 
a body of armed men, and found no difficulty in enter- 
ing the palace. Maung Maung, after a six days' reign, 
was seized and put to .death. He was only eighteen 
years of age. Badun Meng was forthwith proclaimed 
king. He assumed various titles afterwards, especially March, ad. 1782. 
that of Hsengbyu Mya Sheng, but is now usually known 
as Bodoahpra. The unfortunate Singgus^, and those 
who remained with him, were sent to the city as pri- 
soners, and all, including children and attendants, were 
ruthlessly burnt to death. 

Bodoahpra, still pretending ignorance of the conspi- Bo°doahpTr' 


racy by which he had profited, put to death those who 
had gained the palace for Maung Maung. The dis- 
closure of his perfidious nature, seems to have surprised 
many who had supported him. Plots began to be formed 
against him.i One, said to have been supported by 
Maha Thihathura, had for its object to place on the 
throne an illegitimate son of Alaunghpr^. The old 
general, who, though unsuccessful in his last campaign, 
had long led the Burmese armies to victory, was exe- 
cuted. Another conspiracy was headed by Myatpun, 
said to be a son of the last king of Burma of the ancient 
race, who had been carried away as prisoner by the 
Taking king. This youth, after a life of adventure 
among the Sh§,ns and Eed Karens, found a few despe- 
radoes ready to support him. They boldly scaled the 
December, a.d. -^aU of the palace in the dead of night, and cried aloud 
that " the true branch of the royal stock " had appeared. 
The palace guards were panic-stricken by the sudden- 
ness of the attack. The conspirators gained possession 
of the guns and powder in the palace-yard, but finding 
no balls, could not use the cannons. They might have 
. fired the palace, but did not. As soon as it was day- 
light, and the small number of the assailants was seen, 
they were seized and put to death. Myatpun for the 
time escaped, but was speedily taken. BodoahprS, now 
gave full rein to his fury. Hundreds of both sexes, and 
even some Buddhist monks, on vague suspicion that 
they had been privy to the conspiracy, were burnt alive 
upon an immense pile of wood. The village where the 
plot had been formed was razed to the ground ; the 
fruit-trees were cut down, and the fields left to grow 
wild. In Pegu an insurrection broke out, having for its 
object to restore the Talaing monarchy; but this was 
easily suppressed. 

1 These plots are briefly hinted mano, pp. 51, 52, and by Colonel 
at in the MahS. E.lljS,weng. De- Symes, pp. 99, 102. 
tails are given by Father San Ger- 


Bodoahpra having sated his rage, commenced build- site for a new 

■*■ • ° ^ ' capital selected, 

mg a pagoda at Sagaing, where he had lived for some 
years. He poured vast treasures into the relic-chamber, 
and made suitable offerings to the monks. Having 
thus, as he believed, expiated the bloodshed he had 
caused, he thought to escape the evil influence which 
might cling to the palace, which had been the scene of 
so much slaughter, by changing the capital to another 
position. After careful search, the site selected was on 
a plain about six miles north-east from Ava, and bor- 
dered to the west by a branch of the great river. The 
new city was laid out as a square of about two thousand 
five hundred yards, according to the traditionary rules 
for the capital of a Burmese king. It was named 
Amarapura. The palace was in the centre of the city. 
The king, with his whole court, came in grand procession May 10, a.d. 
to occupy the new palace, which a few days afterwards 
was consecrated. The same year a complete register of Burmese 
the kingdom, showing the number of families in each 
village, with the amount in weight of silver payable 
from each village circle to the royal treasury, with the 
boundaries of the villages, townships, and provinces, was 
completed. This great work, as a record of the financial 
resources of the empire, was carried on simultaneously 
by the local officers of each district, who were sworn to 
report truly, and deserves commendation. But the first 
use made of it, was a requisition on all the principal 
cities and towns for an extraordinary payment, to be 
applied to the restoring and gilding of pagodas and other 
religious buildings df royal foundation throughout the 
empire. Payment of this demand was promptly en- 
forced, but whether the amount received was expended 
for the pious purposes set forth in the royal order, is 
uncertain. Bodoahpra, however, was too firmly seated 
on his throne to give heed to any murmurings. All 
dangerous men of influence had been got rid of ; but he 
allowed no adverse remark on his measures to pass lin- 


punished. Having created his eldest son Ainshe- 
meng, or heir-apparent, one of his younger brothers was 
said to have quoted his own reply, as to the declaration 
on succession to the throne of the great, founder of the 
dynasty. He was at once executed. 
Distracted state BodoahprS, was now entire master of the country 
included in the basin of the Ir^wadi. The chiefs in 
the districts east of the Salwln as far as the Mekong ac- 
knowledged his supremacy. The sea-coast, as far south 
as the port of Tenasserim, was subject to his govern- 
ment. Fortune laid open to him a kingdom which had 
been subject to Burma,, some centuries before, but after- 
wards had recovered independence, and had not been 
subdued by Alaimghpr^. The distracted state of Arakan 
at this period has already-been narrated.^ For many years 
past, discontented nobles from that country had flocked 
to Ava, beseeching aid to restore order. SinggusS, had 
no ambition for warlike expeditions, and paid no 
attention to these applifcations. So terrible, from the 
tyranny of faction and the desolation of civil strife, was 
the state of that country, that even foreign interference, 
— the last resource of despair to lovers of their country, 
— was accepted as promising relief from greater evil. 

After the destructive earthquakes which seemed to 
portend the overthrow of the kingdom, Sanda Parama 
was dethroned by his brother-in-law, who ascended the 
palace, and took the title of Apaya Maha EajS,. He 
in his turn was put to death by one of his officers, 
who then reigned as Sanda ThumanS,. Bodoahpr^ 
sent emissaries to inquire as to the state of the 
country; and the king not daring to resent this act 
of interference by his powerful neighbour, humbly 
represented by letter that all disturbance had subsided. 
But resistance to the nominal king soon broke out once 
more, and Sanda ThumanS, fled from his capital. He 
became a Eah^n, but this did not save his life. One 

^ See chapter xvii. 


of the rebel chiefs seized the palace. Immediately 
there was a combination of faction leaders against him, 
and he fled. A chief in Eamrl, Aungzun, a man of 
resolute character, was called by a majority to occupy 
the throne. He took the title of Sauda Thaditha 
Dhammarit Eajg,. Some chiefs still persisted in resist- 
ance to his authority, and as he pursued them into the 
mountains with untiring determination, they fled across 
the border into Burma. One of them, Hari, the son *■"■ ^^^^■ 
of Apaya Maha E^ja, invited Bodoahpra to take the 
country. The time did not appear suitable, and nothing 
was done. In the meantime, Dhammarit E^ja honestly 
endeavoured to quiet the kingdom. His efforts were 
in vain. Village fought against village, and robbers 
plundered everywhere. In the midst of this confusion 
the king suddenly died. The husband of his niece ''■^- '7^=- 
succeeded, and took the pompous title of Mahi, Tha- 
mad^, the name of the first king, the Nimrod of the 
Buddhist world. Bodoahpra saw that the time had 
come. His scouts kept him well informed, and he 
knew that Arakan would be an easy prey. 

The conquest having been determined on, Bodo- conquest of 
ahpra made ample preparations to ensure success. 
An army of twenty thousand men, two thousand 
five hundred horses, and over two hundred elephants, 
was assembled at and near Amarapura. It was com- 
posed of four divisions, three of which were to march 
to Arakan by land. The fourth, still incomplete in 
numbers, would, when joined by boatmen and lands- 
men drawn from the lower country, proceed by sea. 
The three divisions which formed the land columns 
were under the command of the king's three sons, the 
Ainsh^meng, who was also commander-in-chief, Thado 
Mengzoa, and K^ma Meng. The army having moved 
in advance, the Ainsh^meng left the capital and pro- 
ceeded down the river. The division under Thado October, a.d. 
Mengzoa disembarked at Mengbu, with orders to cross '' '*' 


the mountains by the Tal§,k pass. The two other 
divisions continued on, passing Prome to Padaung. 
The plan was, so to arrange the march of the three 
land columns, that the iiotilla should have time to 
come round by sea, and enable the land columns to 
occupy Sandoway, Eamrl, and Cheduba ; after which 
a general advance would be made on the capital in 
Arakan proper. The division under Kama Meng went 
down the river as far as Kyankheng, from whence it 
marched to cross the mountains, and debouch on the 
plain of Sandoway. The flotilla of armed vessels 
under ISTS Myu Kyohteng and Taraby^, a Talaing 
officer, went on to Bassein. Joined there by more 
vessels, and men raised in the delta, it passed Pagoda 
Point .and Cape N"egrais, and began to work up the 
coast towards Sandoway and Eamri. 

The Ainsh^meng halted at Padaung for twelve 
days, and then commenced his march leisurely, by the 
pass which led to Taungup on the sea-coast. ThadS 
ijecembtr, Mcngzoa rcachcd TaMk after some opposition from 
an Arakanese force. The flotilla made extraordinary 
exertions, and a few days after the Ainsh^meng 
had arrived at Taungup, it was reported to be at the 
mouth of the Sandoway river, and in communication 
with the column of Kama Meng. The town of Sando- 
way was occupied without opposition, and the whole 
force was combined under the commander-in-chief at 
Tanlwai. He proceeded against Eamri. The island 
.was held by a son of Dhammarit E§,ja, who was de- 
feated without difficulty. The Ainsh^meng then pro- 
ceeded northwards, and mustered his forces at the 
mouth of the Tal^k river. Moving his army, chiefly 
by means of his flotilla, into the great river of Arakan, 
two chiefs with their followers made submission. At 
Laungkrek the Arakanese fleet was defeated, and 
there being no adequate means for the defence of the 
capital, the chiefs and Eah^ns entreated Maha Thamad^ 

About 2d 


to submit. He fled to the jangal, and the Ainshg- 

meng entered the city. The fugitive Iting was brought p^""^^^''' 

in a prisoner a month afterwards. •*-=^- '784- 

BodoahprS, recalled his sons, and sending Meng 
Khaung Gry6 as governor of the conquered province, 
directed that ten thousand men should remain as garri- 
son, and the rest of the army return home. The great 
national image of Arakan, called Mahlmuni, was sent 
across the mountains by the Taungup pass; was re- 
ceived by the king with great honour ; and was set up 
in a building specially erected for it to the north of the 
city. The king of Arakan, his queens, and his whole 
family ; the chief officers, the Brahman astrologers and 
soothsayers with their families, and numerous prisoners, 
were sent by the same route. All the arms and mus- 
kets, with the great guns, one nearly thirty feet long, 
which had been found in the city, were sent by sea. 

The conquest of Arakan had been achieved so easily invaaion of 
that Bodoahpra, ambitious of military glory, deter- 
mined himself to lead an army to subdue Siam. The 
pretended cause of war was to exact tribute asserted ■ 
to be due, and to avenge the defeats inflicted by the 
valiant Phaya T^k. A preliminary expedition was 
sent by sea, which took possession of Junk Seylon, but Early m a.d. 
after a few weeks the force was driven out by the 
Siamese, and obliged to return to Mergui. The advan- 
tage to be derived from this isolated attack is not 
apparent. Success could have had little effect on the 
main object, which was to occupy the capital. Junk 
Seylon could not be made the base for operations 
against Bankok, and the only benefit to be derived 
from the occupation of that island by the Burmese, 
would be to intercept the supply of firearms coming 
from Indian ports, of which traffic however there is no 
evidence. The expedition was a very expensive one, 
and caused a great loss in men. 

BodoahprI determined to throw an overwhelming 



Middle of Octo- 
ber, A.D. 1785. 

SoTs"^"^^™" invading force into Siam, at several points simultane- 
ously. Meng Khaung Gyo was sent to Martaban to 
collect boats, cattle, and provisions, and to explore the 
road for a march by the route known as that of the 
three pagodas. An army of one hundred thousand 
men was assembled and divided into six corps. It 
was composed of men drawn from Mogaung and' the 
northern Shan states ; from the eastern states ; and from 

September, A,D. other parts of the empire. One corps was dispatched 
in advance from Martaban to Tavoy to be in readiness 
to act from that quarter. One was assembled at YAmxah, 
and three at Martaban. One body of choice troops 
was headed by the king himself. Leaving his eldest - 
son in charge of the palace, he marched from the 
capital to Taungu, and reached Martaban after thirty- 
nine days. There he combined four corps into a grand 
army under his own command, to move by the route 
of the three pagodas, but detached a division to create 
a diversion towards Eahaing. His own projected line 
of march was to cross the Salwin from Martaban ; to 
proceed up the valley of the Attar§,n river by the 
branch which leads to the three pagodas, at the summit 
of the mountain range which separates the two coun- 
tries ; from whence, crossing the Siamese border, the 
route would be pursued down the course of the Me- 
nam or Khwaynauey to the town of Kanburi, from 
whence the march to Bankok would be easy. The 
grand army, commanded by Bodoahpra, consisted of not 
less than fifty thousand men. It soon appeared that 
the provisions and transport collected, were utterly 
inadequate for the wants of such an army. The king, 
in his self-sufficient ignorance and impatience, had 
issued orders without allowing sufficient time for due 
arrangements to be made. In his rage he now threat- 
ened with death the whole of his principal officers, or, 
in his own words, " to burn them all in one fiery 
furnace." The unfortunate Meng Khaung G-yo, who 


was chiefly responsible, had gone in command of the 

corps of Tavoy. He was ordered to be sent back in March to the 

1 • mi 1 • frontier. 

cnams. Ihe king persevered in his march. When 
near the three pagodas, the prisoner arrived and 
was forthwith executed. The army, now in a diffi- 
cult mountainous country, was repeatedly attacked 
and severely handled by the Siamese, and already 
thousands of the invaders were dying for want of 

Phaya Tak had been succeeded on the throne of Heroic defence 
Siam by Phaya Chakkri, the ancestor of the present sfam.'' "^ " 
king of that country. For greater security against 
Burmese attack, he removed the inhabitants of Bankok 
from the west to the east bank of the river. Being a 
man of ability and courage, he had led the Siamese 
armies in many actions since the fall of Ayuthia in 
A.D. 1767, and had revived the spirit of the people, 
which, after the conquest by Bureng Naung, had been 
cowed under the superior force of the Burmese. The 
confidence thus infused into the Siamese was mani- 
fested by the vigorous attacks made on the invading 
army. By the middle of January, news reached Bodo- a.d. 1786. 
ahpr^ that the column marching from Tavoy had been 
almost annihilated beyond Mergui. His own advance 
met with the same fate, and those who escaped fell 
back in disorder on the main body. The king, terrified 
for his own safety, was only anxious to escape. He 
issued orders for all the invading columns to retreat. 
That which was advancing from Zimm4 had met with 
some success, but all the others had suffered from 
the enemy and from hunger. BodoahprS,, fearing lest 
his own retreat should- be cut off in the difiicult 
country in which he was entangled, fled back to Mar- 
taban, leaving -the scattered remains of his army to 
escape as they could. Ordering his queens and 
children to meet him at Eangoon, that all might wor- 
ship together at the great pagoda, he proceeded to the 



religious build- 

November, a.d. 

September, a.i 

February, a.d, 


ancient capital of Pegu. From thence he came by river 
to Eangoon and returned to his own capital. The 
following year the Siamese in revenge laid siege to 
Tavoy, but were unsuccessful. 

After this disgraceful campaign, the king was con- 
soled by an embassy from the Emperor of China. A 
Burmese envoy accompanied the Chinese ambassador on 
his return ; and this was considered the first establish- 
ment of friendly relations with the elder brother, since 
the succession of the house of Alaunghpr^. For some 
years there was a lull in warfare. Bodoahpr^'s martial 
ardour had received a severe check. He now deter- 
mined to show his religious zeal by raising a pagoda 
which should surpass in bulk^ if not in beauty of design, 
all that had hitherto been accomplished in the build- 
ings of the world of Buddhism. The site for this huge 
fabric of brick and mortar was selected at a spot, since 
called Mengun, a few miles above the capital, on the 
western bank of the river. The foundation was laid by 
the king himself with great ceremony. He h*d a tempo- 
rary palace erected in the vicinity, in order that he might 
see to the work, and acquire the more religious merit 
by personally assisting therein. He made his eldest 
son his deputy for the transaction of ordinary affairs, 
and lived for some years in the temporary palace, but 
returned to the capital on some occasions. He came 
into Amarapura to grant audience to Colonel M. Symes, 
envoy from the governor-general of India ; but he re- 
ceived Captain H. Cox at Mengun. The lower storey 
of the pagoda had several chambers for containing holy 
relics, and objects of value or supposed rarity, the offer- 
ing of which would be esteemed an act of devotion. 
The principal chamber had an area of ten cubits square 
and seven cubits in height. It was lined with lead, 
and was filled with a number of articles, valuable and 
paltry, after which a metal lid, covering all, was sealed 
up. It is probable that from the main chamber and 


the others, which formed large cavities in the stmcture, 
not having been built with arched ceilings, and the 
masonry being of inferior quality, was the cause of 
the collapse of the building during a severe earthquake 
some years later. After this great pile had occupied 
the work of many years it was abandoned, although it 
had been carried up only to about one-third of the 
intended height, which was to have been about five 
hundred feet. The bell which was cast to match this 
immense fabric still exists, and weighs about eighty tons. 
It is supposed that the great discontent throughout 
the country, consequent on the vast number of men 
pressed to labour on the work, was the reason why 
it was abandoned. The warning conveyed by the fate 
of the last king of Pug^n in the thirteenth century, of 
whose proceedings in a similar undertaking a saying 
arose, " The pagoda is finished and the country is 
ruined," made even Bodoahpr^ pause. He enjoys the 
dubious fame of having left a ruin which is pronounced 
by Colonel Yule to be one of the hugest masses of brick 
and mortar in the world. 

The work at Mengun, peaceful in name, but hateful 
to the people, was interrupted by news from Pegu that 
the governors of Martaban and Tavoy had rebelled, and 
that the latter had delivered up the town to the Siamese. 
A force of ten thousand men was hurriedly sent off 
from the city with Nemyu Thengkhar^, who was ap- March, a.d. 
pointed governor of Martaban, and ThetdoashS, com- ^"^' 
mander-in-chief. Arrived at Martaban, a part of the 
force was sent on to Tavoy under the command of 
Mankyidun. He found the town occupied by the 
Siamese, while outside, and strongly entrenched, were 
several corps commanded by the king's son and other 
members of the royal family. Mankyidun, anxious to 
fulfil the expectations of his superiors, rashly made an 
attack on one of the entrenched positions, and failed. 
He was compelled to retreat, and returned with the 


December, a.d. 

Events in 

remnant of his force to Martaban. He and four of his 
officers were afterwards executed. By this time large 
reinforcements under the Ainsh^meng, who fixed his 
headquarters at Eangun, had reached Martaban. They 
were sent on to the south by sea and land under Gun- 
ner^p Kyoathu. "With his superior force he retook 
Tavoy, and then marched on and relieved Mergui, 
which the Burmese governor had successfully held. 
The Siamese invaders having been expelled, the Ain- 
sh^meng returned to the capital, a portion of the troops 
being left to guard the districts on the south-eastern 

While on the whole of the eastern frontier, from 
whence the Burmese kings had long been accustomed 
to expect attack, all danger was quelled, there arose in 
the opposite quarter commotions, at first despised as 
insignificant, which were destined to produce fatal 
effects to the successors of Bodoahpr§,.i The conquest 
of Arakan had promised to bring quiet to that country. 
The people rejoiced at the prospect of relief from deso- 
lating civil war ; but cruel' oppression and severe ex- 
actions by the Burmese officers destroyed their liopes, 
and roused them to revolt. The fact of thousands of 
men being forced from their country to labour on the 
" works of merit " undertaken by Bodoahpr^, of whom 
none returned home, is recorded with bitter resentment 
in the history of Arakan. The chiefs who headed the 
insurrection maintained for some years a guerilla resist- 
ance. Thousands of the people abandoned their country, 
and took refuge in British territory, where they were 
permitted to settle on unoccupied land. Three chiefs, 
after having bravely maintained the struggle for inde- 
pendence, were compelled to fly across the border. The 

' For events on the frontier of 
Arakan the authorities consulted 
are the native chronicles ; Histo- 
rical Review by Bayfield, revised 
by Col. Bumey (Calcutta, 1835) ; 

Symes, pp. 117, 122 ; and History 
of British India, H. H. Wilson 
(continuation of Mill), vol. ix. pp. 
8, 16. 


arrogant aggressiveness of the Burmese officers, prompted 
by orders from the capital, produced collision with the 
British authorities of the district of Chittagaon. The 
river Naf separates the territory of Arakan from that of 
Bengal. The Burmese general, NandakyoazS, crossed '^•^- '794- 
that river near its mouth, at the head of five thousand 
men, to demand the three fugitives, who were charged 
with rebellion, robbery, and murder. He entrenched 
his force in British territory. A detachment of troops 
under major-general Erskine was sent from Calcutta 
to oppose this aggression. The two commanders met, 
and the Burmese officer consented to withdraw, on the 
assurance that inquiry would be made into the charges 
brought. The result was that the three chiefs were 
delivered up as fugitive criminals, and two of them 
were executed. Their real crime was, that they had 
led their fellow-countrymen in resistance to the Bur- 
mese conquerors, and in their wild warfare had pro- 
bably been as unscrupulous as their oppressors of the 
lives of their foes. The surrender of these patriots 
must be condemned as an act unworthy of a civilised 
power, having an armed force at command. In the Envoy from 

i: ' o _ British India 

hope of preventing a recurrence of such an aggression, to Burma, 
and of establishing some order in government action 
towards the trade existing between the two countries, 
Captain Symes was deputed by Sir John Shore, the 
governor-general of India, as envoy to the king of 
Burma. He was received with dubious courtesy. He a.d. 1795. 
obtained a delusive royal order as to trade, but no 
treaty; and no reply from the king was sent to the 
governor-general's letter. 

The British Indian government, desirous of main- 
taining if possible friendly relations with the court of 
Burma, deputed captain Hiram Cox, towards the close 
of the following year, to be resident at Eangoon, under a.d. 1796. 
the supposed treaty of the previous year. He was well 
'received at an audience by Bodoahpr^, then residing at 


i.D. 1797-9I 


Febraary, A.D. Meno-uii, who was pleased with a carriage and other' 

1707. a >■ r p J ' 

presents from the governor-general. After this un- 
usual condescension the resident was treated with in- 
sulting neo-lect. For nearly nine months he remained 
in attendance at court, and then withdrew in disgust. 
In this instance also no reply was sent to the governor- 
general's letter. 

On the frontier of Arakan events similar to those of 
1794 again occurred. Thousands of Arakanese emi- 
grated into the district of Chittagaon. Once more a 
Burmese military force crossed into British territory to 
compel the fugitives to return. The invaders entrenched 
themselves, and repulsed an attack made on their posi- 
tion by the local or police battalion of the district. 
But BodoahprS,, occupied at this time with designs on 
As§,m, and unwilling to commit himself too far, for 
already he designed to effect alliances with some of the 
native states of India, withdrew his troops, and sent an 
agent to Calcutta to negotiate for the restoration of the 
fugitives ; in other words, that they should be expelled 
from British territory. The marquis Wellesley now 
governed British India. The known designs of the 
malignant sultan of Mysore, supported by France, with 
a threatened invasion of India by Zem^n Shah, king 
of the Afghans, prevented that great ruler from dealing 
effectually with Burmese aggression. The reply to the 
agent was, in general terms, that the immigrants should 
not be allowed to make raids into Arakan. This did 
not satisfy BodoahprS,, who, through the governor of 
A.D. 1800. Arakan, renewed the requisition for the extradition of 

the fugitives ; and in a letter from that officer addressed 
to the governor-general of India, threatened an invasion 
if the demand was not complied with. Tippu sultan had 
now been crushed; but preparations for an expedition 
to the Isle of France, the departure of troops to Egypt, 
and disagreement with the Mahratta powers looming, 
would not allow of a war being undertaken in Indo- 


China. The insolent threat passed unpunished. Colonel a.d. 1802. 
M. Symes was again deputed as envoy in order to require 
a disavowal of the threatening letter, and to conclude 
an improved treaty. Having arrived at Mengun, the 
envoy was treated with gross indignity. The only 
reply vouchsafed to the letter which the governor- 
general addressed to the king was a communication 
from the wungyis sent at night to the envoy. The 
governor of Pegu gave a verbal disavowal in the name 
of the king of the insolent letter from the governor 
of Arakan. The other objects of the mission were 
treated with disdainful silence. 

The following year captain Canning was deputed to Further 00m- 

• 1 j_ T-» T -n • T -1 municatioiis 

reside at ixangoon as agent, but was so ill received by between the 
the local officers that he left after a few months. Some Burmese 
years later he proceeded to Burma with a letter and a.d! X^-io. ' 
presents from the governor-general. He was on the 
whole well received by BodoahprS,, but no reply except 
from the ministers was sent to the letter he delivered. 
For some years nothing had occurred to increase the 
unfriendly feeling which existed between the govern- 
ments of Burma and British India. But the Arakanese 
refugees began again to disturb the frontier. Khyeng- a.d. iSn. 
byan, a restless chief, bearing intense hereditary hatred 
to the Burmese, after fighting desperately at the head 
of a few followers, fled into the district of Chittagaon. 
There he gathered a number of his fellow-countrymen, 
and entering Arakan, attacked Burmese detachments 
and outposts. The Burmese Government had just cause 
of complaint, for the weakness or the neglect by which 
the refugees who enjoyed British protection were left 
without control. Captain Canning was again dispatched a.d. 1811-12. 
to Burma to disclaim all sympathy or complicity with 
this inroad, which had been secretly prepared and sud- 
denly made by the bold outlaw. The viceroy of Pegu, 
to whom this communication was made, declared the 
explanation to be satisfactory. Khyengbyan having 



Attempt to 
fir rest the 
British resident 
at Rangoon. 


A.D, l8lZ. 

April, A.D. 1813. 
Burmese in- 
trigues with 
native princes 
of India. 

again taken refuge in British territory, the governor 
of Arakan marched with an army to the frontier, and 
required the surrender of the fugitives, using insulting 
menaces if the demand were not complied with. 
Negotiations took place between the governor and the 
British magistrate of Chittagaon, which ended in the 
Burmese troops being withdrawn from the frontier. 

Bodoahpr^, convinced of the powerlessness and 
treachery of the British Government, determined to 
adopt an extreme measure to ensure the surrender of 
the rebels. Captain Canning, while still at Eangoon, 
was urged to proceed to the capital. Being suspicious 
of the motive for this invitation, he declined doing so ; 
and the viceroy of Pegu having orders from his master 
to hold him as a hostage for the delivery of the Ara- 
kanese rebels, endeavoured to gain possession of his 
person. This design was frustrated by the escape of 
the envoy on board his ship, and an armed British 
vessel having arrived soon after, his safety was secured. 
Seeing no hope of a satisfactory arrangement, he left 

The following year Burmese envoys were sent to 
Calcutta, again to demand the surrender of the rebel 
chiefs. Not long after, a Burmese was arrested while 
on his way to Delhi, ostensibly in search of religious 
books. The British Government now gained informa- 
tion, apparently for the first time, that Bodoahprei was 
actively engaged in intrigues with some of the native 
princes of India. The direct object of these secret 
negotiations did not appear until later. The conquest 
of Arakan had brought Burmese officers into more 
immediate contact with India than at any previous 
period, and the ambitious king was inspired with the 
desire of acquiring the distri-cts of Eastern Bengal, at 
least as far as Dacca, which had once belonged to Ara- 
kan. Even a claim to Murshedabad was some years 
afterwards openly made. A preliminary mission had 


been sent to Benares to procure Sanscrit books. The 
emissary returned, and was accompanied by a learned ^.u. 1807. 
brahman, said to have been selected by the r^j^ of 
Benares. This deputation probably had for its main 
object the acquirement of books held in esteem by 
Buddhists, but others followed which can only have 
had political designs. A mission on a much larger 
scale was sent in the following year. Several natives *•"■ '^°*- 
of India were attached to it. They went through Ara- 
kan to Patna, where the party divided. Most of the 
Burmese officers went to Buddha Gaya to make offerings 
in the name of the king ; to execute a complete plan of 
the precincts of the temple and the holy tree ; and to 
procure relics. The chief of the mission, in company 
with a learned brahman, went on to Benares and upper 
India. They visited Laknau, Dehli, Bhartpur, the Pan- 
jab, and probably Kashmir. They were absent nearly 
two years, and brought back many Sanscrit books, 
images, and presents from various chiefs. More brah- 
mans came from Benares, whom it was intended to 
employ, in conjunction with the descendants of Brah- 
mans from Arakan, in translating Sanscrit works into 
Burmese. Missions from the court of Amarapura to 
various cities in India, extending even to Puna, went on 
for some years, apparently without the government of 
British India having any suspicion of their political 
significance. A flattering prospect was also opened to 
the ambition and the religious feeling of Bodoahpra, by 
the arrival at his capital of a mission, real or feigned, 
from Ceylon. A deputation of notables, professing to 
come from that island, entreated him to revive religion, 
now desolated by foreign heretics. Bodoahpr^ made a 
suitable reply, referring to the acts of " his great ancestor 
Asoka," whose example he intended to follow in sup- 
port of religion. 

By the supineness of the British government, Khyen- Disturbance"! 
byan was still allowed to raid on the frontier of Arakan. of Arakan.' "^"^ 


He had established himself in a strong position in the 
interior of the hill country, where practically he defied 
both powers. The British government, with a discredit- 
able disregard of its own character, allowed Burmese 

i.D. 1814. troops to enter the hills within British territory to attack 

A.D. 1815. the chief in his stronghold. At last the restless Kheng- 

byan died. Bodoahpra again sent agents to Bengal, 
nominally to demand the extradition of other refugees ; 
but really to concert measures for entering into a league 
with some of the native princes of upper India. A 
discovery of the existence of such a plan was made by 
the magistrate of Chittagaon ; and in little more than a 

A.D. 1817. year later, three natives of western India, one of whom 

was a British subject, came to Calcutta duly accredited 
from Amarapura. They demanded the surrender of the 
Arakanese fugitives, and permission to travel to Lahore, 
on the old pretence of procuring religious books. They 
were not allowed to proceed on their journey. It was 
discovered that the Burmese government was scheming 
to enter the confederacy which the Peshwa was forming 
against the British power. The hopes of Burma were 
extinguished by the battles of Kirki, Mahidpur, and 

A.T>. 1817 and Ashti ; and the dispersion of the Pind^ri hordes by the 
army under lord Hastings. 

Kvents in While ambitious designs for the extension of dominion, 

which had their direct origin from the occupation of 
Arakan, were being actively prosecuted, the confidence 
of BodoahprI, in his own high destiny led him to interfere 
in the affairs of another country, forming a portion of the 
extensive border-land between India and Burma. Since 
the thirteenth century of the Christian era, when the 
Sh§,ns had conquered As§,m, there had been little or no 
intercourse between that country and the land of the 
Ir^wadi. The descendants of the first Buddhist kings 
in the valley of the Brahmaputra had been received into 
the fold of Hinduism ; and, forgetting the history of 
their race, had adopted the myths and traditions of their 



new teachers. In the eighteenth century ^ the rkja, of 
Asam had lost much of the authority wiiich had been 
exercised by his predecessors, and was controlled by three 
principal ministers termed Gohains. These were also 
governors of the three great divisions of the kingdom, who 
frequently acted as independent princes. The restricted 
power of the raj^ led him to struggle to regain the 
authority once held by his ancestors, and this brought 
about a perpetual succession of intrigues. In 1793 
the raj§. Gaurinath was driven from his throne, and 
appealed to the governor-general of India, lord Gorn- 
wallis, for protection. That nobleman, then about to 
retire to Europe, sent captain Welsh with eleven 
hundred sip§,his. This small body of men was suf- 
ficient to restore the r^ja. The British troops then 
retired. The raj§,'s minister, the Boora Gohain, as- 
sumed the chief authority, and placed his master in 
confinement. The r§,ja soon died, and the Gohain 
then placed on the throne a youth named Kinaram, 
belonging to an illegitimate branch of the royal family. 
Another claimant applied to Bodoahpr^ to assist him 
in enforcing his rights. The mission from this person, 
bearing presents and a princess, arrived at Amarapura, 
while captain Cox was there. Preparations were made June, a.d. 1797. 
to invade Asam, but were countermanded, and for some 
years no further measures were taken for interfering in 
that country. When Chandra Kanta was on the throne, * ■>■ '^°<'- 
he became impatient of the thraldom in which he was 
held by the minister, the Boora Gohain. He entered 
into a secret engagement with the Bor Phokan, governor 
of the central province of the kingdom, to get rid of the 
powerful minister. The plot being discovered, the Bor 
Phokan fled to Calcutta, and implored help to rescue his 
master from this humiliating position. The government 
of British India, occupied with important affairs of in- 

' See Francis Buchanan's East- History of India, Mill and Wilson, 
ernIndia,vol. iii.pp. 607-663; and vol. ix. pp. 17-19. 


ternal administration, and with plans for expeditions 
beyond seas, refused assistance. The Bor Phokan then 
applied to Bodoahpra. The king at once sent him back 
■with a force of six thousand men. The Boora Gohain 
had died before their arrival, and Chandra Kanta, no 
longer in need of foreign support, dismissed his allies 
with valuable presents. The Bor Phokan now became 
an object of jealousy with his master, and was put to 
death. The son of the late Boora Gohain formed a plot 
against Chandra Kanta ; deposed him, and placed on the 
throne, Purandar Sing, a prince of the dynasty. Chandra 
Kanta escaped to Bhut§,n. A Burmese army was sent 
to under the command of Kyoagaung. He rein- 

A.B. 1816. stated Chandra Kanta, and returned home with the bulk 

of the army, Maha ThilawS being left in command 
with the remainder. Purandar Sing now took refuge 
in Bhutan, and afterwards in British territory. The 
friendship between Chandra Kanta and the Burmese 
was of short continuance. He left the capital, then 
Eangpur, and proceeded to the border of the British 
territory, where with a body of his own retainers he 
defended himself against attack from the Burmese. 
Purandar Sing having procured arms and ammuni- 
tion, entered AsSm, and attacked both the Burmese 
and Chandra Kanta. He was defeated by the latter, 
and the British government, anxious to prevent the 
Burmese from occupying Asam, now gave support to 

j.D. 1821. Chandra Kanta. MahS ThilawS, wrote to the governor- 

general, warning him not to assist Asamese rebels. By 
this time the reign of BodoahprS, had come to a close, 
but ■ his policy in Asam was continued by his suc- 

Manipur. The Small country of Manipur had at an early period 

been subjected by Burma, and forced to pay tribute. 

A.D. 1735. Once only had Manipur been able to retaliate, with 

an army which penetrated to the Ir§,wadi, opposite 
Ava, and for a time seemed likely to occupy that city. 


AlaunghprS, invaded the country to assert the supremacy 
of his dynasty therein. After the death of that monarch 
the chief of Manipur applied to the governor of Ben- 
gal for protection.^ This was promised, and somewhat a.d. 1762. 
precipitately an alliance, offensive and defensive, was 
concluded hy Mr. Verelst, then acting as governor. 
In pursuance of this treaty, six companies of sip^his 
marched from Chittagaon with the object of expelling 
the Burmese from Manipur. The detachment only 
reached Kaspur, the capital of Kachar, and had suffered 
so much from sickness that it was recalled. The vkjk 
again applied for assistance, but the government of 
Bengal, by this time aware of the difficulties to be 
encountered, refused to fulfil their engagement. Mani- a.d. 1764. 
pur again suffered from a Burmese inioad, but after 
this for several years was unmolested. At length dis- 
sensions among the members of the royal family brought 
foreign interference and loss of independence. The a.d. 1799. 
raja. Jay Sing, died, and his sons fought for the succes- 
sion. Three survived this struggle, of wham the elder, 
Chorjit, became ikjk. The second brother, Marjit Sing, a.d. 1806. 
sent presents to Bodoahpra, soliciting his support. 
Chorjit also sent presents, and one of his daughters, in 
token of fealty. Marjit came and dwelt for a time at 
Amarapura. He returned to his own country, but again 
appeared with complaints against his brother. Bodoah- a.d. iSij. 
pra summoned the r§,j§, to his presence in order to settle 
the dispute. Chorjit refused to come ; a Burmese army 
marched into Manipur ; the r§,j§, was defeated, and fled 
into Kach§,r ; Marjit was placed on the throne, and the 
Burmese army was withdrawn. From this time the 
Kubo valley was annexed to Burma. 

BodoahprS,, as already narrated, had abandoned the 
work on the great pagoda he had commenced at Mengun. 
For some years afterwards he undertook no such work, 

1 H. H. Wilson, History of India, vol. ix. pp. 20-22. 


Death of 
May, A.D. 


Great reservoirs 

Capture of a 
white elephant. 

Cbaracter of 

but later caused a small stone pagoda to be built at 
Thihadoa, about fifty miles from the city up the river. 
When it was finished he went there to place the hti on 
the summit. Eeturning, he landed and went to the city 
of his father, but feeling ill, hastened back to Amara- 
pura, where he died soon after his arrival, having reigned 
more than thirty-seven years. 

Among the public works of utility executed by Bo- 
doahpr&, two great reservoirs deserve mention. One of 
these was formed by the enlargement of the ancient 
tank situated a few miles to the north-east of the 
capital, in which, on the completion of the work, water 
sufficient for the irrigation of some thousands of acres 
was stored. This artificial lake, which has a superficial 
area of about twenty square miles when full, was, with 
the exuberance of oriental imagination, named Aung- 
pengl^, or the " pent-up sea." The other lakelet was 
formed at Mittila. It was of ancient construction, and 
the banks had been renewed by Alaung Stthu in the 
twelfth century, but had fallen out of repair. The king 
went there with his whole court, and remained for three 
months superintending the work. The labourers were 
brought from all parts of the empire in thousands, and 
were embodied in battalions and companies under the 
command of the officers of their districts. The forced 
labour on these works caused deep discontent. 

BodoahprS, probably considered that the greatest 
glory of his reign was the possession of a perfect white 
male elephant. This animal, caught in the forests of 
Pegu, was received at court with honours due to an object 
of worship. He lived in captivity for more than fifty 

The character of BodoahprS. is drawn by Father San 
Germano, who during his reign lived in Burma for more 
than twenty years. The description, when compared 
with other evidence, including that in the royal history, 
does not appear to be too severely drawn. 



" His very countenance is the index of a mind fero- 
cious and inhuman in the highest degree, . . . and it 
would not be an exaggeration to assert that during his 
reign more victims have fallen by the hand of the exe- 
cutioner than by the sword of the common enemy. . . . 
The good fortune that has attended him . . . has in- 
spired him with the idea that he is something more than 
mortal, and that this privilege has been granted him on 
account of his numerous good works. ... A few ye^rs 
since he thought to make himself a god." 

Notwithstanding his cruelty he was a man of ability, 
and, except in the great folly of heading an invasion of 
Siam, carried out his plans, for what he considered the 
glory of the kingdom, with prudence and perseverance. 

The eldest son of Bodoahpr^ had died more than ten Succeeded by 
years before his father. His son, Sagaing Meng, had 
then been appointed Ainshemeng. He now performed 
the funeral obsequies of his grandfather, and succeeded 
to the throne at the age of thirty-five years. 

his grandson. 

Silver medal of Bodoahprjl,, supposed to be intended to be deposited in the relic- 
chamber of the pagoda at Mengua. 

( 232 ) 



Accession of Hpagyidoa — Ava again made the capital — Expedition to 
Manipur — To As^m— Kach^r invaded — Attack on the Chittagaon 
frontier — Action near R^mu — British plan of operations — Occu- 
pation of Rangoon — Failure of attack on Kyimyisidaing — Opera- 
tions in AsS,m, Kaohar, and Manipur — Fighting at Rangoon — 
Coast of Tenasserim — MahU, Bandula attacks the British position 
— Defeat of the Burmese — Occupation of Arakan by the British — 
The British army marches northward from Rangoon — Siege of 
Danubyu — Death of Bandula — Alarm of the Burmese court — 
Prome occupied by the British — Negotiations for peace — War 
resumed — British advance on Myedfe — Malwun taken — Action at 
Pug&n — British army at Yandabo — Treaty signed — The Burmese 
soldier — Commercial treaty — Hpagyidoa dethroned. 

Accession of The grandson of Bodoahpr^ took possession of the 
palace without opposition. He assumed, according to 
custom, a distinguishing title, but is generally known 
as Hpagyidoa. He commenced his reign well. He 
remitted some taxes for three years, and in a speech 
to his courtiers promised to rule justly, and to follow 
the precepts of religion. He made liberal presents to 
all public officers. But after a few weeks had elapsed, 
two of his uncles, the princes of Prome and Taungu, 
were suspected of treasonable designs, and were put to 
death, together with a number of persons supposed to 
be their adherents in conspiracy. 

Ava again made From causes which are uncertain, but which nro- 

tlie capital. nil , , . i . ^ 

bably were the alighting of a vulture on the palace 
spire — ever regarded as an evil omen — and the burnin" 


of a large portion of the city, including the court of 
justicCj the palace campanile, and other buildings, per- 
taining to the palace, the king determined to 'return to 
Ava. The preparations proceeded leisurely. A new 
and more extensive palace was buiit upon the ancient 
site, which the king and queen ente^red in great state. ^^^^Yi) 
Gradually the whole population followed the court. '823. 
Pursuing the plans of his grandfather in foreign policy, 
Hpagyldoa sent a mission to Buddha Gay a with offer- 
ings. The chief brahman, who had formerly come from 
Benares, and became known to foreigners as the Pi^j 
Guru, accompanied the Burmese officers, and proceeded 
on to Benares. At this time there appeared no oppor- 
tunity for making an alliance with any of the native 
princes of India, though this object was probably kept 
in view. Nearer home, prompt measures were taken 
to enforce the supremacy which had been established 
during the previous reign in Manipur. 

The rkik of that state, Mariit, had for some time Expedition to 
past shown a disposition to evade the promise of 
fealty. which he had made to Bodoahpra. On being 
summoned to appear at the capital, where all the 
umbrella-bearing chiefs of the empire were to do 
homage to their superior lord, he made excuses. 
Hpagyldoa at once determined to depose him. An 
army marched for Manipur at the close of the rainy October, a.d. 
season. In this force the officer afterwards known as ' '^' 
Mah^ Bandula served as Sitk6, and by his skill and 
daring during the operations made himself conspicu- 
ous.i The r§.j^ escaped to Kach§,r. The country 
having been subdued, a force was left to garrison it 
under the Kannl Myuwun, and the rest of the army 
returned home. Some thousands of the inhabitants 
were carried away. In Kachir, Marjit found his 

^ In Buddhist legends this is Manual of Buddhism, p. 280. 

the name of a great warrior, son Bishop Bigandet's Legend of the 

of the sister of a Malla king who Burmese Buddha, 2d edition, p. 

reigned at KusinarS,. Hardy's 329. 



A.D. 1820. 

brother Chorjit, who, by treachery and force, had 
acqui?f-d a portion of that country. Marjit and 
Gambhir Sing joined together and expelled their 
brother. The rightful r§,ja of Kach§,r, Govind Chandra, 
who was also a £igitive, after having been refused 
assistance by the .British government, applied to the 
king of Burma. The Burmese troops left to occupy 
Manipur were insufficient to hold it. The son of 
Marjit began to make incursions from Kachar, and 
before long the Burmese commander was shut up in a 
stockade near the capital. A relieving force marching 
rapidly, arrived in time to save the garrison. The 
British government, alarmed at the progress of the 
Burmese on so many points of their eastern frontiei", 
determined to take Kach§,r under their own protection 
and to support Govind Chandra. The Manipur chiefs 
were conciliated by pensions, and were placed in com- 
mand of an irregular levy, formed principally of fugi- 
tives from Manipur. 

The king of Burma prepared vigorously to pursue 
the policy of his grandfather in Asam. Chandra 
Kanta having turned against his supporters, a Bur- 
mese army was sent, under the command of MahS, 
Bandula, to reinforce Maha Thilaw§,. The Asamese 
chief was defeated, and fled into British' territory, 
where his relative and rival, Purandar Sing, was 
also. As§,m was declared a province of the Bur- 
mese empire. The chief authority was vested in MahS, 
Thilawa, who was left with two thousand men, while 
Maha Bandula returned home with the rest of the 
July, A.D. 1822. army. A Burmese agent arrived in Calcutta bearing 
letters from the Burmese generals, demanding the sur- 
render of Chandra Kanta. This was refused. The 
Burmese contented themselves with demonstrations on 
the frontier, and some villages within the British 
district of Goalp§,ra were plundered, probably by local 

Expedition to 

A.D. 1821-22. 


The Burmese commander in Manipur had been in- Kacharin-paded. 
formed that the British government would not permit 
him to interfere in Kachar. A Burmese force, however, Januai-y, a.d. 
in two columns, one coming from As§,m and one from ' "'' 
Manipur, entered Kach§,r for the alleged purpose of 
reinstating Govind Chandra, whose cause the British 
government had already espoused. A combat took 
place with a British battalion of sipahis, in which the 
Burmese were defeated. But their two columns having 
united, the battalion was forced to retire before superior 
numbers. The Burmese then pushed on with confi- 
dence, and threw up entrenchments on the banks of the 
Surma. They were driven from these, and the column 
from Asam returned there, while that from Manipur 
retired to a strong stockade at Dudhpatli on the Barak 
river. An attempt was made to storm this stockade 
by a British force under Colonel Bowen, but the attack 
failed. The Burmese, however, soon after abandoned 
the position, and returned to Manipur. 

The frontier of Chittagaon again became the scene of Attack on tho 
aggression by the Burmese authorities in Arakan. At frontiM-'^™ 
the mouth of the Naf river is the island of Sh§,puri, 
which, from its proximity to the Chittagaon shore, the 
channel there being fordable at low water, and from 
long occupation by British subjects, was undoubtedly 
British territory. The Burmese officers began to exer- 
cise authority over it, and the right to overhaul boats 
of British subjects passing up and down the river. A 
guard of twelve men of the provincial battalion of 
Chittagaon was stationed on the island to protect Bri- 
tish subjects residing there. The post was attacked by September 23, 
a Burmese armed party ; six of the guard were killed '^ °' ' "'' 
and wounded. Two months later the island was occu- 
pied by a detachment of regular sipahis. Hpagyidoa 
had thorough confidence in his own strength and re- 
sources, and was not going to shrink from a struggle 
with the British. He was encouraged in his determi- 



JrtTniavy, A.D. 

March 5, A.D. 

Action near 
Ramu, 17th 

nation by the ambitious Maha Bandula, who, after a 
showy review of his troops, left the capital early in the 
year with six thousand men, to take command in Arakan. 
His men were drawn principally from the district of 
Dibayen or Tabayin, which is supposed to furnish the 
best soldiers in the empire. He had orders to advance 
towards Chittagaon, and there was confident expectation 
that the capital of Bengal would be taken. He crossed 
the mountains by the Aeng pass, and, proceeding to the 
old capital of Arakan,- made arrangements to carry out 
his orders. He evidently saw greater difficulties than 
appeared when he was so full of confidence in presence of 
the king, and now paused in his enterprise. The British 
government had stationed a brigade, much too weak for 
the duty required, at the town of Chittagaon. War was 
formally declared against Burma. Colonel Shapland, 
who commanded the brigade, threw forward a detach- 
ment to E^mu, a village about thirty miles from the 
mouth of the N^f. Mah^ Bandula at length commenced 
operations. He did not himself lead the invading force 
across the border, but, as if to test the strength and tem- 
per of the enemy, sent on a column under the governor 
of Arakan. This body, estimated by the British at eight 
thousand men, but which, from information afterwards 
received, was probably not more than half that number, 
crossed the N"&,f and marched on E§,mu. The British 
detachment there was commanded by Captain N"oton of 
the 40th Bengal Native Infantry. It consisted of three 
hundred and fifty regulars, with six hundred and fifty of 
the police battalion and levy of Arakanese refugees. 
The Burmese attacked and drove the British force from 
its position with great slaughter. After this success 
the governor of Arakan awaited further orders from 
Mah^ Bandula ; but events elsewhere induced the latter, 
with unexpected caution, to stay further operations, and 
the invading force, after a few weeks, recrossed the 


The British government having declared war, de- The British 
cided on a plan of campaign which appeared likely to tiomi" °^T^ 
be the most effective. The Burmese had become dan- 
gerous neighbours by the occupation of Asam, Kach§,r, 
and Manipur ; while for more than thirty years the 
Chittagaon district had been harassed by incursions 
from Arakan. To penetrate to the capital of Burma 
through any of those territories was difficult, far more 
so than the British government yet knew. The long 
distances to be traversed through jangal, swamp, and 
mountain ; in countries sparsely populated, and yielding 
no supplies fit for an army of civilised men, presented 
formidable obstacles to the march of a European force. 
These countries had indeed been overcome by the Bur- 
mese ; but the Burman soldier of that day, very lightly 
clad, bore on his back ten days' rice, found edible herbs 
in every jangal, and his drink was water. He did not 
reject the flesh of animals, even of those which died 
natural deaths, when procurable ; but it was not essen- 
tial for his wants. If he carried a musket, he was not 
trusted with more than ten rounds in pouch, and large 
bodies of such men moved rapidly through the wildest 
country. In view of the difficulties to be encountered 
in a march through the border-lands, in order to reach 
the Burmese country, the British government deter- 
mined to drive the enemy from As^m, Kach^r, and 
Manipur, but not to advance beyond them ; and to guard 
Chittagaon against further molestation, by strengthening 
the frontier force in that district. The real attack, that 
which was meant to force the Burmese government to 
treat, was to be by the valley of the Irawadi, after 
occupation of the chief seaport, Eangoon. In pursu- 
ance of this plan, troops were assembled at Madras and 
Calcutta, where they embarked in transports. The fleet 
had its rendezvous at Port Cornwallis, in the northern 
Andaman. Itwas convoyed by H.M. frigate "Liffey," and 
the sloops of war " Larne " and " Sophia." There was one 


small steamer. The troops from the two presidencies 
numbered about eleven thousandfive hundred men, under 
the command of general Sir Archibald Campbell.^ The 
whole fleet sailed, detachments being sent to occupy Che- 
occupation of du^a and Nesrais, and arrived off Eangoon. The town 

R ingoon, o ■* _ ^ ^ 

May II, -^ag situated on the river-bank, enclosed by a square 

stockade of teak timber about twelve feet high. A few 
old ship-guns were mounted at the wharf, which was out- 
side the river-face of the stockade. Fire was opened from 
these guns on the leading ships, which was at once replied 
to by the "Liffey." The guns at the wharf were, after a 
few rounds, dismounted. The troops landed and took 
possession of the town without seeing an enemy. At 
this time the governor of Pegu had been summoned to 
the capital, and had died there. His successor had not 
yet arrived. The r^wun or chief of the flotilla wg,s 
deputy-governor. He had no information of the in- 
tended invasion, and was completely taken by surprise. 
All he could. do was to drive away the whole of the 
native inhabitants, of whom none remained in the town 
or suburbs. The few European and other foreign resi- 
dents had been placed in confinement, but their guards 
fled and they escaped. The rainy season was at hand, 
and the British general had not sufficient transport for 
operations either by land or water. Boats, carts, and cattle 
had disappeared with the inhabitants. The great pagoda, 
which stands on a commanding height a mile and a half 
from the river, was occupied as the key of the position. 
So entirely was the invading force isolated, that general 
Campbell found it impossible to gain any intelligence of 
what was going on outside his lines. A reconnaisance by 
means of armed row-boats having been made to Kylmy- 
indaing, a village six miles by river from Eangoon, some 

1 Bengal Division. — H.M. I3tli Toot; the Madras European Re- 
Light Infantry ; 38th Foot ; 20th giment ; seven regiments of native 
Bengal Native Infantry ; two infantry ; four companies of artil- 
companies of artillery. Madras lery ; and one battalion of pio- 
CivisiON. — H.M. 41st and 89th neers. 

or Syrictfrt 

Sketc^b of Country rotavd/ Rojigoon. 

'Ij-ubner& C9 London. 



breastworks were seen on shore from which shots were 
fired. The next day these breastworks were attacked and i6tb May. 
carried by a small party of troops and seamen. The place 
was not occupied by the British general, and the r^wun 
found it a convenient spot to launch fire-rafts, which, 
iloatiug down with the ebb tide, endangered the shipping. 
A few days later the general made a reconnaisance in 28th May. 
person to the north of the great pagoda, with three hun- 
dred Europeans, some native infantry, and two guns. 
The rain fell in torrents ; road there was none ; the 
ground was knee-deep in water; the guns had to be 
left behind. The men pushed on, and at some five or 
six miles from the great pagoda came on two stockades. 
These were formed of palisades four feet high with 
an interior trench and a well-laid abatis. The muskets 
of the assailants were rendered useless by the heavy 
rain, and the works were carried by the bayonet. Some 
three hundred Burmese were killed. The British loss 
was ten killed and twenty-seven wounded. These 
stockades, which had been rapidly constructed, were 
garrisoned by fifteen hundred men, the crews of the 
war-boats stationed at and around Eangoon, who were 
as efficient soldiers as Burma could produce. In pre- 
sence of the armed row-boats and the steamer, the war- 
boats had been laid up. The rewun had the levies of 
the country in the vicinity of the stockades, but made 
no use of them. 

The Burmese had never before encountered European paiiure ot 
troops, and the fierce dash of these white strangers into Kyimyindaing. 
the stockades without firing a shot, astonished them. 
The rewun, an old soldier and brave, did not appear to 
lose heart, but exerted himself to oppose the invaders until 
reinforcements should reach him from the capital. A 
new and stronger stockade was built at Kyimyindaing, 
which extended half a mile along the river-bank. For- 
tune seemed to favour this resolution. The British 
general attacked the stockade by land and water. Erom a 



3d June. rash contempt of the enemy do artillery accompanied 

the land force, and the fire from the armed vessels fell 
heavily on one of the columns. The attempt failed, 

lothjune. with considerable loss to the assailants. Heavy guns 
were now landed, and a second assault was made, with 
measures arranged to minimise loss, and ensuTe success. 
The guns, eighteen-pounders, field-pieces, and mortars, 
were dragged by the soldiers. About three thousand 
men marched out of the British lines. From the state 
of the country the progress was slow. A small outwork 
was met with and taken, but it was night before the 
main stockade was reached. The men had to bivouac 
in the mud and water as they best could. At daybreak 
the guns opened ; all was silent in the stockade, and 
the storming parties found the work abandoned. The 
Burmese had full information as to the heavy guns, and 
knew that resistance would be hopeless. Kylmyindaing 
was now occupied as a British outpost, and for some 
weeks there was a lull in hostilities. From this time 
commenced the terrible sickness which almost paralysed 
the British force. The expedition had been undertaken 
with imperfect knowledge of the resources of the country, 
and of the methods of defence which would be used by 
the Burmese government to confound their enemies. 
The exposure of the troops to the wet, day and night, 
brought fever and dysentery. No fresh meat or vege- 
tables were to be had ; much of the salted meat was 
putrid, and the biscuit served out had to be soaked in 
hot water to clear it of weevils. Fresh supplies could 
only be expected from India after a long delay. The 
troops endured this trial, before which ordinary hard- 
ships of a campaign are nought, with admirable for- 

While these operations were being carried on in the 
south, the campaign in the north was proceeding, as 
planned, at the several points of the frontier. On the 
border of Asalm the British force consisted of a brigade 


composed of local corps, with one battalion of regular operntions 
native infantry, and some- river gunboats. The whole Marou 1824. 
was under the command of General M'Morine. The 
brigade advanced up the river Brahmaputra to G-owhati, 
where the Burmese were stockaded. They abandoned 
the works and retired up the valley eastward. The 
difficult nature of the country, sparsely inhabited, with 
extensive stretches of heavy jangal, and the setting in 
of the rainy season, prevented Colonel Eichards, who 
had succeeded to the command, from following up the 
enemy. He retired to Gowhati, where he fixed his 
headquarters. It will be convenient at once to narrate 
the issue of the campaign in As3,m. The brigade was 
reinforced by two regiments of native infantry, and at 
the close of the rainy season Colonel Richards renewed October, 
operations. Bura Raja, who had been appointed gov- 
ernor by Hpagyidoa, was driven from Noagong, and the 
British brigade pushed on to Rangpur, then the capital of 
upper AsS,m. This town was garrisoned by Burmese and January 29, 
Asamese. The chiefs of the latter wished to submit to *' ' ' '^' 
the British. Sh§,m Phokan surrendered with his fol- 
lowers, and two thousand Burmese were allowed to 
return to their own country. Operations in Asam were 
thus terminated except some fighting with Burmese de- 
tachments and Singpho tribes on the Dihing river. 

On the Kachslr frontier the Burmese reappeared from June, a.d. 182,. 
Manipur in great force. They stockaded themselves Manipur. ' 
on their former ground at Dudhpatli and in other 
positions. The weak brigade stationed at Sylhet under 
colonel Innes was unable to cope with them, and failed 
in an attempt to dislodge them from an entrenched post 

at Talain. The troops on this part of the frontier were November, a.d. 

increased to seven thousand strong, under the command 

of general Shuldham. The Burmese had withdrawn 

from Kacliar. The division, composed of native corps, 

regular and local, marched to Banskandy, after a road 

had, with infinite labour, been made passable for guns. 



From that point to Manipur, though no enemy ap- 
peared, the advance of the division through swamp 
February and aj^i -jangal, pcrsevered in during two months, was 

Maich, A.D. 1825. .1 & ' r . ,, ^, ° ,. »■««■• 

found to be impracticable. The occupation of Manipur 
was at length accomplished by a levy of Manipuris and 
Kacharis, unencumbered with baggage, led by Gambhir 

June 1823. Sing. The Burmese troops had been recalled to oppose 
the British invaders advancing up the Ir§,wadi. 

Fighting at The Burmcse government made strenuous efforts to 

Rangoon. opposc ths British army which occupied Eangoon. The 

plan adopted was simple. It was to prevent all com- 
munication with the people of Pegu, who were liltely 
to favour the invader, and by overwhelming numbers to 
drive the invaders into the sea, or take them prisoners. 
A new governor, the Thekkya Wungyi, had been ap- 
pointed to the province of Pegu a few days before the 
invasion. He was on his way down the river when he 
heard of the event. Being a man of pacific disposition, 
who had never served in war, he was overwhelmed with 
terror, and appears not to have reported the capture of 
Eangoon so promptly as he might have done.i He left 

juiy3,A.ii.i824. ^11 arrangements to the rSwun, and was superseded by 
the Thunba Wungyi, in whom the king and court had 
entire confidence. The new general, having under him 
large bodies of men levied from the country beyond 
the delta, rapidly built a strong stockade in a com- 
manding position at the junction of the Hlaing and 
Panhlaing rivers, about seven miles above Eangoon.^ 

stiijuiy. Other stockades were constructed opposite thereto on 

the Eangoon bank, and were well placed to prevent 
any reconnaisance being made by the British. Both 
positions were attacked, the latter by a land column. 
The guns had to be left behind. The stockades on the 

' The landing of the British reached four or five days sooner, 

army was not known at Ava until ^ See sketch annexed of the 

23d May 1824. With due dili- country round Eangoon. 
genoe the intelligence might have 


Rangoon river-bank were extensive, and were garrisoned 
by ten thousand men. The promptitude of the British 
general took the wungyi by surprise. The defences 
were as yet incomplete, and the resistance lacked vigour. 
The stockades were stormed with great slaughter to the 
defenders, and the ThunbS, Wungyi was amongst the 
slain. The works at the junction of the two rivers 
were at the same time captured by attack from the 
iiotilla and a column of troops combined. 

The British general now had time to turn his atten- coiist of 
tion to places more distant from his position. The '''""* ''""' 
Burmese garrison was expelled from Syriam, a town of 4th August. 
some importance on the Pegu river. Some of the 
fugitive inhabitants of Eangoon, seeing the Burmese 
troops everywhere defeated, began to return to their 
homes. Expeditions were sent to the coast of Tenas- 
serim, and the towns of Tavoy and Mergui were taken September, 
possession of and occupied. Martaban was captured 
towards the close of the year, and the city of Pegu, the November. 
ancient capital, was entered without opposition. 

On the death of the Thunba Wungyi, the king and 
his advisers seemed to recognise the gravity of the 
crisis. Maha Bandula was recalled from Arakan with 
the greater portion of his army. Seeing that the British 
by means of their armed boats, and more especially the 
small steamer, would command the river Irawadi, Bur- 
mese armies were posted on either bank. That on the 
ric^ht bank was under the command of the king's 
brother, the prince of Thar§,wadi, and that on the left 
by the Kyi Wungyi. The former had his headquarters 
at Danubyu ; the latter at Htantabeng, on the Hlaing 
river, about twenty miles above Eangoon. The rSwun 
had command of small bodies of troops, and was active 
in attacking the outlying British pickets to the north 
of the great pagoda, and cutting off stragglers. Bandula 
havinf returned from Arakan, proceeded to the capital. 
An army was raised there which was to be added to 



October, a d. the Veteran troops he brought back with him, and he 
left Ava full of confidence. The British general sent a 

4th October. combined force, naval and military, up the Hlaiug river 
to Htantabeng, which destroyed the stockades erected 
by the Kyi Wungyt. A column composed of native 
troops, under colonel Smith, the same day marched 
northward by land, with the view of distracting the 
attention of the enemy. Several unfinished works were 
passed, and information was received of a strong stock- 
ade at Kyaikkalo, being about twelve miles from Ean- 
goon, where the SMoa Wun, steward of the palace, 
with the rSwun as second in command, had a garrison 
of chosen men and guns mounted. Attack was made 
on the principal stockade in two columns, and failed. 
The whole force retreated in disorder after severe loss 
in killed and wounded. A column at once marched to 
retrieve this disaster. The stockades at Kyaikkalo 
were found to be deserted, and the troops, pushing on 
to a town six miles in advance, came there on a stockade 
also empty. From the destruction of the works at 
Htantabeng, the Kyi Wungyi deemed it imprudent 
to remain within striking distance of such active foes, 
and withdrew his troops from their advanced positions. 
But Bandula, in taking supreme command, viewed the 
whole condition of affairs as very favourable, and the 
king and his court were highly elated at the last suc- 
cess. The Kyi Wungyi, however, was deprived of his 
command, though not disgraced. 

MaM Bandula MahS, Bandula was appointed by the king com- 

attacks the 

British position, mandcr-in-chief in the southern provinces. He took 
over the command at Danubyu. The prince of TharS,- 
wadi, vexed at being superseded, told him to be careful 
how he attacked the Kuli,s. His reply was, " In eight 
days I shall dine in the public hall of Eangoon, and 
afterwards return thanks at the Shwe Dagun pagoda." 
The army under his command numbered, it was said, 
sixty thousand men ; but only one-half were armed with 


muskets. A large proportion of this army acted as 
pioneers, working with light entrenching tools, accord- 
ing to the commendable practice of Burmese armies in 
the field, who never halt or encamp without throwing 
up defences. Bandula crossed the Irawadi at Danubyu, Last week of 
and thence to the left bank of the Hlaing with the bulk n°^™^^'- 
of his army. He thus gained the ridge of high ground 
which led direct to Eangoon, and the country now was 
for the most part dry. A portion of the army went by 
water, but with caution, lest it should be attacked by 
the British gunboats. After four or five days' march December i. 
the whole of the army was in position before the British 
lines. It occupied the space extending in an irregular 
semicircle from Kyimyindaing on the Burmese right, to 
the Pazundung river on the left. A numerous body of 
troops also crossed the Eangoon river to the Dalla side, 
and threw up batteries to fire on the shipping. On the 
river itself were war-boats, and what were much more 
dangerous to the British, fire- rafts ready to be launched. 
The Burmese front was everywhere protected by earthen 
breastworks, which had been constructed with astonish- 
ing rapidity. It was not without reason, calculating from 
his past experience, that Bandula felt sure of success. 
Of the British force, disease allowed not more than 
thirteen hundred Europeans to be present under arms, 
with about two thousand five hundred native troops. 
The key of the position to be defended was the great 
pagoda, which was certain to be the main point of attack. 
It was well garrisoned, and had twenty guns mounted 
on the upper terrace. The troops at Pazundaung and 
Dalla had been withdrawn. A brick building, known 
as the white house, about one mile south-east of the 
great pagoda, was held on the extreme British right; 
and on the left the stockade at Kyimindaing, which was 
supported by the ships of war, the steamer, and gun- 
boats. Eeserves were posted in rear of the great 
pagoda and extending towards the town. 



The object of the British general was to allow the 
enemy to establish himself close up to the position, 
whereby he could be readily reached ; and to tempt him, 
if possible, to an engagement on open ground. Bandula 
rapidly developed his plan of attack. One division 
advanced to within a mile of the great pagoda, and 
threw up entrenchments, while a strong column estab- 
lished itself to the east of the pagoda, resting on the 
royal lake. The latter was at once attacked and driven 
from its position. A successful sortie was also made 
on the works in front of the pagoda. It was impossible 
to hold these positions when won, and on the following 
day the Burmese advanced their entrenchments to 
within three hundred yards of the great pagoda. The 
post at Kylmindaing was vigorously attacked, and 
menacing fire-rafts, launched with the ebb tide at the 

Decembers. ships of War, Were with difficulty warded off. At last 
the left wing of the Burmese army deployed on the 
open ground adjoining the royal lake, and gave an 
opportunity to the British general to strike a blow. 
Gunboats worked up the Pazundaung creek to aid the 
attack, and two columns advanced eagerly to throw 
themselves on the enemy. The works were carried, the 
Burmese abandoning their guns, colours, muskets, and 
much ammunition, and leaving many dead and wounded. 
The centre of the investing army renewed the attack 
on the pagoda, but was repulsed with great slaughter ; 
and a similar result befell at Elytmindaing. The division 
which was entrenched at Dalla was driven out two days 

The Burmese army rallied close to the ground from 
which it had been driven, and the British force was too 
weak in numbers and from fatigue to attempt pursuit. 
An old stockade at Kokien, two miles from the great 
pagoda, had been repaired and strengthened, and Mah^ 
ThilawS,, formerly in As3,m, was in command. The 

December 14. towu of Eaugoou was fired by emissaries, who gained 

Defeat of the 
December 6. 

December 8. 
December 10. 


entrance without attracting notice, in hope that the 
magazines might be destroyed. This design was frus- 
trated, and on the following day the stockade at Kokien 
was stormed. Bandula, now despairing of success, 
retired rapidly with seven thousand of his best men to 
Danubyu, while MahS, ThilawS, fled to Moabi._ The 
greater part of the investing army broke up, and the 
men dispersed. 

In consequence of the unforeseen difficulties which occupation of 
beset the advance of an army by the line of the Ir^- BriS.*'^""' 
wadi, the British government determined to occupy 
Arakan, and to strike at the capital of Burma through 
that province. An army, numbering eleven thousand 
men, was assembled at Chittagaon, under the command 
of general Morrison. A numerous flotilla of gunboats 
and armed cruisers, on which two European regiments 
were embarked, sailed along the coast. A squadron 
of irregular cavalry and some of the native infantry 
marched by land, generally close to the sea-shore. The Feteuaiy 1,1825. 
whole force gathered in the Naf river, and most of the 
native troops landed on the southern bank without 
opposition. It was nearly two months before the army March 29. 
reached the capital. The city of Myauku, or Arakan, 
is surrounded by low hills, which afford excellent means 
for defence. The first assault of the British at a narrow 
defile was repulsed, but on the following day the posi- 
tion was turned, and attack made in front under cover Apiii i. 
of a brisk cannonade. The enemy fled precipitately. 
The Burmese garrison, being the troops left by Bandula, 
easily escaped, concealed by the jangal, and retired 
across the eastern range of mountains to their own 
country. The southern districts of the province were 
now occupied by the British without opposition. A 
reconnaissance was made of the Talak pass, being 
one of those by which the Burmese army had entered 
Arakan. It was found to be so difficult for guns and 
laden cattle that it was pronounced to be unsuitable for 
the object in view. The army was speedily stricken by 


disease, if possible more deadly than that from which 
the force at Eangoon had suffered. There was no want 
of wholesome food, but after the rain began to fall, 
exhalation from the soil made the climate fatal. The 
troops were distributed in cantonments along the sea- 
coast, the site known as Akyab, then an open grassy 
plain, being occupied ; and the plan for invasion of 
Burma from Arakan was abandoned. Though there 
had been great natural difficulties to overcome in 
operating on the long line of eastern frontier, and 
many errors had been committed in the conduct of 

i.i>. 1825. the war, yet by the end of the spring the Burmese 

had been driven from the whole of their conquests 
in Asam, Kachar, Manipur, and Arakan. The ancient 
port of Martaban was occupied by the British, as was 
the whole coast of Tenasserim as far south as Mergui. 
It now remained for the army at Eangoon, under Sir 
Archibald Campbell, to carry on the war by advancing 
up the river Ir§,wadi. 

The British Towards the end of the year reinforcements reached 

army marches , _^ . . , , „ t i- t-t* e 

northward from the British general irom India. His means tor trans- 
Beufmber, port, whether by land or water, were still defective. 
-»•»■ I 24- rp^^ rainy season having ended, the health of the troops 

improved, but fresh provisions were yet scarce. Pre- 
parations were made to advance on Prome, where it 
was hoped the Burmese government would be disposed 
to treat. MahS. Bandula had determined to make a 
stand at Danubyu, about sixty miles from Eangoon, 
but the British general had no information either as to 
the strength of his army, or the nature of the strong- 
hold which he had constructed on the river-bank at 
that place. The British force, to move up the valley 
of the Ir§,wadi, was divided into two columns. One 
was to proceed by the river under general Willoughby 
Cotton ; the other by land under the commander-in- 
chief himself. The former numbered eight hundred 
Europeans and a battalion of native infantry, with a 
flotilla of gunboats and one steamer. There were also 


numerous boats of various tonnage carrying heavy guns 
and mortars, ordnance stores and provisions. The land 
column was composed of thirteen hundred Europeans, 
one thousand sip§,his, three hundred of the governor- 
general's bodyguard, a troop of horse-artillery, and a 
rocket troop. The number of men seemed small for 
the enterprise of dictating terms to a haughty power, 
"which for more than sixty years had triumphed over 
the neighbouring nations ; but no one doubted of success. 
The surface of the country was now dry, and the land February n, 
column marched northwards to Hlaing, and thence to "^^^ ' ' °^' 
Sarawa on the Ir^wadi. There had been no communi- ist March, 
cation with general Cotton. That officer had proceeded 
up the Panhlaing river into the great river without 
much opposition. When near Danubyu he found that 4th March. 
Bandula was with his army in an extensive stockade 
on the right bank of the river. There were also two 
smaller works below the larger one. The southernmost 
of these, which enclosed the town pagoda, was attacked 
and carried. The party which attempted to storm the ^th March. 
next work was repulsed with severe loss. General 
Cotton re-embarked his men the same night. It was 
reported that the garrison of the main stockade amounted 
to fifteen thousand men, with a hundred and fifty guns 
mounted. A Burman was found to carry a dispatch ,oth March 
to general Campbell, which reached him when he was 
two marches beyond Sarawa. Eeturning to that place, 
he crossed the river by means of canoes he found on 
the bank, and marched down to Danubyu. ssth March. 

On reconnaisance, the strength of Bandula's fort was 
evident, and an attack in form was necessary.^ Trenches 
and batteries were constructed about three hundred 
yards distant from the north-west angle. General Cotton, 

1 A plan and section of the fort of Captain T. A. Trant, 95th Foot, 
as evidence of Bandula's skill is Assistant Quartermaster - Gene - 
added. It is taken from the work ral. 



Sisge ofDan- 

2(3 April. 

Death of 

Alarm of the 
Burmese court. 

who had dropped down the river, came up with his 
column; mortars and heavy guns were landed and 
placed in battery ; iire was opened, and continued with 
little intermission for several hours. All was ready 
for the assault early in the day, when it was found 
that the fort had been evacuated during the night. 
Mah^ Bandula had been killed, and his brother, the 
second in command, could not keep the garrison to- 
gether. Guns, powder, and immense stores of rice fell 
to the victors. 

This disaster struck the king and his court with 
intense terror. Hpagyidoa, naturally a man of mild 
disposition, had been led on to the aggressive acts 
which produced the war, chiefly by the ambitious 
prompting of Mahi, Bandula. He was encouraged to 
persevere by the court faction, of which the queen and 
her brother Menthagyi were the leaders. War with the 
British had indeed at first been popular, with all parties 
and all ranks of the nation. But constant defeat had 
tamed the spirit of many, and it was known that the 
prince of Thar^wadi advocated peace. The queen, who 
was of humble birth, had gained such entire influence 
over the king, that she was called by the members of 
the royal family "the sorceress." It was seriously 
believed that she had acquired and retained her power 
by witchcraft. Her brother, originally a retailer of fish 
at a bazaar stall, now took precedence of every one in 
the kingdom except the king's brother. He was hated 
by the royal family for his haughty bearing, and by 
the people generally for Jiis rapacity and cruelty. The 
king, even before the defeat of Bandula at Rangoon, 
had become convinced of the error he had committed 
in provoking war; but his pride, and the influence 
of the war faction, kept him from negotiating with 
the invaders. He was heard to remark that he was 
in the predicament of a man who had got hold of a 
tiger by the tail, which it was neither safe to hold nor 


to let go. Menthagyi feared the loss of his own power 
if peace were made. The court astrologers, probably 
under his influence, continued to predict success. All 
Europeans at Ava, including the American missionaries, 
had been 'put into prison as suspected spies, and were 
treated with the barbarity used towards those accused 
of treason. On the death of Bandula, the king accepted 
the offer of the PukhS,n Wungyi to lead an army against 
the invaders. This functionary had formerly served in 
As4m and commanded in Manipur. Lately he had 
been in disgrace, and was for some time in prison along 
with the Europeans. He was a man of relentless 
cruelty. On being appointed commander-in-chief, he 
determined to inaugurate the assumption of his high 
office by putting the European prisoners to death, as 
a sort of sacrifice to the infernal powers— a horrible 
superstition, altogether outside and opposed to, the 
national religion. The prisoners were sent out to Aung- 
pengle, where this dreadful act was to be perpetrated. 
But the Pukhan Wungyt had many enemies. Having 
been twice punished by the king, it was suggested that 
he designed to raise himself to the throne. The dark 
deed he meditated seems to show a deeper design than 
that of success in the field. His house was searched, 
and it was said that royal insignia were discovered 
therein. He was trodden to death by elephants. The 
king's half-brother, Mengmyatbo, was next appointed 
commander-in-chief, being probably selected as one 
likely to be subservient to the war faction. The prince 
of Thar^wadi was in command of a corps, with his 
headquarters at Mengyt ; but when general Campbell 
retraced his steps to cross the river to Danubyu, the 
prince had made no effort to interrupt him. He had 
become convinced of the hopelessness of continuing the 
war, and recommended negotiations for peace. As the 
British force advanced, he retired to Myfed^, and soon 
relinquished his command. Mengmyatbo established 


his headquarters at Malwun with his advance at Prome 
under an Atwenwun ; while his second in command, the 
Kyiwungyl, who once more appeared in command, cau- 
tiously remained on the right bank of the river. 
April 4. General Campbell recrossed the Ir^vvadi, and pur- 

"Prome occupied ,,. ,•, in-, t , ■ ^ ■ 

by the British, sued his march by the left bank, regulating his pro- 
gress by that of the flotilla. Arrived at Prome, he 
found it deserted by the inhabitants. The Atwenwun 
in command before retiring had fired the town, and 
more than half of it was burnt. By a miracle two 
hundred barrels of powder in the arsenal did not ex- 
plode. One hundred guns and jingals of various calibre 
were found mounted on the walls. The inhabitants 
soon began to return, and the Burmese civil officers of 
this and the neighbouring towns resumed their duties 
under the orders of the general. 

The British field force went into cantonment at 
Prome for several months. Though the rainy season is 
there much lighter than in the delta, yet the river, 
swollen by rain in the mountains of As^m, has a rise of 
forty feet above its lowest level ; overflows its banks, 
and the country becomes impassable for military opera- 
tions. This interval was employed in resting the men, 
establishing hospitals, collecting cattle, and bringing up 
from Eangoon stores of all kinds. The Burmese govern- 
ment found a difficulty in raising another army. The 
ancient plan of forced service no longer sufficed. A 
bounty was now offered for each recruit, and this politic 
measure was extended to the Sh^n states, where the 
chiefs by ancient custom had been wont to furnish con- 
tingents in war-time to the kings of Burma. While a 
new army was being formed, the invaders remained un- 
molested. In the middle of August general Cotton 
proceeded up the river in the steamer. At Myedfe he 
observed the Burmese army ranged in line, and judged 
the number he saw to be from sixteen to twenty thou- 
septembeve. saud men. Some days later, a Burmese war-boat 


appeared with a flag of truce, and a written proposition Negotiations for 
to treat. An armistice of forty days was agreed to. ^'^'"''" 
Conference was held at JSTgyaungbengzaik, twenty miles 
above Prome, between the general and commodore, and 
the Kyi Wungyt, who appeared as the Burmese chief 
commissioner. The object of the king of Burma in 
sanctioning this conference was to ascertain the terms 
upon which the Britisli invaders might be induced to 
retire. Hope was entertained that an arrangement i-D. 1769- 
similar to that entered into with the Chinese generals 
during the reign of Hsengbyusheng might now be made. 
The terms declared by the British commissioners in- 
cluded the cession of Arakan, Tavoy, and Mergui, and 
payment of two millions pounds sterling. The Burmese 
commissioners could not have expected these condi- 
tions to be accepted by their government, but to allow 
of reference to the court, the armistice was prolonged 
to the 3d of November. Hpagyidoa had no intention 
of complying with the British demands. Towards the 
end of October the Kyi Wungyi changed his tone of 
politeness, and wrote to the British general that yield- 
ing territory and paying money was contrary to Bur- 
mese custom. Hostilities were forthwith resumed. 
The Burmese army closed around Prome. The centre, 
said to consist of thirty thousand men under the Sadoa 
Wun, who had distinguished himself in repelling the 
attack on the Kyaikkalo stockade in the previous 
year, was entrenched ten miles to the north of Prome. 
On the right bank of the river, as before the position 
of least danger, was the Kyi Wungyi with a division ; 
and at Wettigan, twenty miles to the north-east, was 
a body of eight thousand Shans, with two thousand six 
hundred Burmese under Maha Nemyu. 

The British general determined first to dislodge the wav resumed. 

, . , . /. 1 , • ^ , , Bi-itish advance 

latter force, which, m a forward movement, might act on MyMfe. , 
on his rio-ht flank. Five regiments of native infantry 
under colonel McDowall, one being kept as a reserve, 



Novembei- 15. were Ordered on this duty. The inarch was made by 
night in three cohimns, proceeding by different routes, 
which were to converge on the point of attack. The 
country was still deep with mud, and the movement 
was thereby retarded. The columns did not succeed 
in uniting according to arrangement, and colonel 
McDowall, arriving in front of a breastwork thrown 
up by a Sh§,n corps, was killed. The several columns 
were forced to retreat with heavy loss in killed and 
wounded. The Burmese army now drew closer to 
Prome and occupied Shw^daung in the British rear. A 
detachment stockaded at Padaung, on the right bank 
of the river, was surrounded by a part of the Kyi 
Wungyi's division. The force at ShwSdaung was 
driven off by a detachment of the 87th regiment, 
which arrived at the moment on its way from Ean- 
goon, and the attack at Padaung was repulsed. 

In a few days, general Campbell, with two thousand 
five hundred Europeans and fifteen hundred native in- 

istDocember. fantry, marched from Prome to attack the main body 
of the Burmese army. It was posted in a strong 
position on heights, from eight to ten miles north of 
Prome, with its right resting on an abrupt , precipice 
overlooking the river, called Natpadi or Fairy-bead. 
The position was well stockaded and defended with 
guns. The flotilld, under commodore Brisbane, pro- 
ceeded up the river to support the operations. Be- 
fore attacking the main position, a stockade on the 
N'aweng river, to the right of the line of march, was 
carried by assault, and Mah^ Nfemyu, a brave old man, 
211 December, was there killed. The following day the troops ad- 
vanced against the Burmese position, where S^doa Wun 
commanded. Prom the nature of the ground the artil- 
lery could not be brought near enough to afford material 
aid in the attack, but the whole position was carried by 
the infantry regiments, with the loss of twelve officers 
and one hundred and sixty men killed and wounded. 


The Burmese loss during these actions was between two 
and three thousand men. The Sh§,ns marched off to 
their own country. The Burmese troops on the west 
bank of the river were driven off three days later, and stutDeoember. 
followed their main army northwards. General Camp- 
bell, leaving two regiments of native infantry in garrison 
at Prome, pursued his march on My^de, at the head of 
four thousand five hundred men, with twenty-eight • 
guns. The flotilla kept pace with the land force. The 
advance of the army entered My^dfe without opposition. 7th December. 

The British government, still desirous of negotiating 
for the settlement of peace, had appointed Mr. Thomas 
Robertson, of the Bengal civil service, as joint com- 
missioner with the commander-in-chief for that purpose. 
He had arrived, and brought with him the brahman 
already mentioned as Eaj Guru, who had been deputed 
on a secret mission to Bengal by Hpagytdoa, and was 
there detained as a prisoner. The R§,j Guru was now 
sent to the Burmese general with a document announc- 
ing the terms of peace, which, it was hoped, he would 
be able to communicate personally to the king. The 
army continued its march, and reached Patanago with- 20th December, 
out opposition. On the opposite side of the river was sgtu December. 
Malwun. Here was a stockade, with a garrison of four 
thousand five hundred men, commanded by Prince 
Mengmyatbo. The Burmese Government having now 
appointed Kaulen Mengyi, with the KylWungyi and two 
other colleagues, to negotiate, the Eaj Guru came across 
to the British camp, and it was arranged that the com- 
missioners of the two powers should meet on board a 
boat anchored in mid-stream. After two or three meet- 
ings a treaty was signed by both parties, and a truce for January 3, 
fifteen days agreed upon to allow of the ratification by ''•°' ' ^ " 
the king. The time expired, and no communication 
from the Burmese commissioners had been received. 
The batteries from the British side of the river now 19th January, 
opened on Malwun, which was completely commanded 



Malwun taken 
by the British. 

25tli January, 

ist January. 

Action at 

from the eastern bank, the stream being about nine 
hundred yards wide. After a destructive cannonade 
the British troops crossed the river in gunboats, and 
stormed the stockade. The Burmese fled, although the 
garrison had been considerably increased, leaving guns, 
powder, a great store of grain, and numerous documents, 
including the signed treaty, which had not been for- 
warded to the king for ratification. The British army 
pursued its march northward. When near Yfenang- 
yaung. Dr. Price, an American missionary, appeared, 
accompanied by a subordinate Burmese officer and some 
British officers, who had been -taken prisoners. The 
object was to ascertain the ultimatum of the British 
general. They were informed that the British army 
would march on to Pugan, and there await the ratified 

The war party at Ava even now had not abandoned 
the hope of retrieving the disasters of the past. Men- 
thagyl had come some distance from the capital down 
the river, but did not trust himself where fighting might 
occur. Prince Tharawadi again strongly recommended 
peace. The queen was for flying to Mutshobomyu, the 
city of Alaunghpr^. An obscure officer, Letyathura, 
with reckless ambition, offered to collect an army of 
thirty thousand men and drive back the invaders. The 
king, clutching despairingly at any chance to be rid of 
the invaders, appointed the applicant commander-in- 
chief, designating him ISTS Weng Bureng, lord of the 
setting sun, antithetical to his own title of, lord of 
the rising sun. The new general does not appear to 
have gathered more than half the force he asked 
for. He took up a position at the ancient capital, 
Pugan. Leaving a part of his force within the walls 
of the ruined palace or citadel, he drew up the remainder 
extended in the form of a crescent. The selected battle- 
field was the " Burmese Thebaid," amidst the ruins of 
temples and pagodas, which in the time of their splen- 


dour had beheld the tumultuous march of the hordes 
of Kublai Khan. Prince Mengmyatbo and the other 
men of rank, now deprived of authority, withdrew to 
an adjoining village and waited the issue of the battle. 
General Campbell had sent out detachments to collect 
cattle and grain, and on reaching Pugan, had with him February a. 
only nine hundred Europeans and about the same num- 
ber of native infantry. Without hesitation he attacked 
the Burmese army, and defeated it with slight loss to 
his own. The unfortunate lord of the setting sun fled 
to Ava, and was forthwith ordered to execution. Loyal 
to the last, he bowed down to the palace-spire and 
submitted to his fate. The British general halted at 
Pugan to aUow the detachments to rejoin, and then 
marched on. He reached Yandabo, and encamped four February 16. 
marches from the capital. The king was prepared to Tandab?'"* " 
fly northward, but at last authorised a treaty to be con- ° ™'''^ ''^' 
eluded. The American missionaries, Messrs. Price and 
Judson, were sent down with the senior Wungyi and an 
Atwenwun. The Burmese commissioners brought with 
them one-fourth of the million sterling now required as 
payment towards the expenses of the war, and an- 
nounced their readiness to accept the general terms 
before proposed. The treaty was now signed without p^^'i-ifar'?"'^''' 
discussion. By its provisions, Asam, Arakan, and the 
coast of Tenasserim, including the portion of the 
province of Martaban lying east of the Salwin river, 
were ceded to the British Government ; and the king 
of Burma agreed to abstain from all interference in 
Kach§,r, Jyntia, and Manipur. Provision was also 
made for the future conclusion of a commercial treaty. 
The British army then retired to Eangoon, which was 
held until the second instalment of the sum due for 
the expenses of the war was paid, towards the end of 
the year. The town of Maulmein was rebuilt on the 
ancient site, and became the headquarter station and 
chief port of the province of Tenasserim. 


The Burmese Let justice be done to the Burmese soldier, who 
toidier. fouglit under conditions which rendered victory for 

him impossible. The peasant is taken from his village 
home, and brought into the field as a combatant, with- 
out having gone through drill or any suitable instruc- 
tion. He is supposed to know how to load and fire a 
musket, which he probably does ; but up to the end of 
the war, the musket given him, generally much worn 
by use and neglect in a damp climate, would have been 
condemned in every army of Europe. Many in the 
ranks were armed only with the native sword or spear. 
The gunpowder, made in the country, would not have 
been accepted as serviceable in the armies of the princes 
of India. After the large stores of that material had 
been lost at Danubyu and Prome, even the rude powder 
used became scarce ; and at Malwun, before the assault, 
the Kaulen Wungyi, who was second in command to 
Mengmyatbo, but knew nothing ' of war even after the 
Burmese fashion, was seen measuring out the powder 
in a niggardly way to the soldiers. Cartridges were 
issued to few, and the soldier had to load as he best 
could. The artillery branch of the service was even 
more inefficient than the infantry. There were a great 
number of guns in different parts of the country, and 
these were mounted in the stockades, but they were 
mostly old ship-guns of diverse calibre, and some of 
them two hundred or more years old. Bound shot was 
not plentiful ; grape or canister there was none. Even 
at Danubyu, before the death of Bandula, the guns 
were so ill-served that any one piece was not fired 
oftener than once in twenty minutes. Generally, the 
Burmese officers never lead their men except in flight. 
Yet, with all these disadvantages, the Burmese ill- 
armed peasant never feared to meet Asiatic troops, 
though these were well armed and led by European 
officers. It was only to the European soldier that he 
succumbed. After the first few months of the war, he 


found himself over-matched, and no longer fought with 
hope of success. 

A commercial treaty was signed at Ava by Mr. John commercial 

r^ f. J ,, treaty, Novel i 

Crawiurd, envoy from the governor-general, and by ber 23. 
two Atwenwuns for the king of Burma. It was not of 
a nature calculated to place the trade between the two 
countries on a satisfactory footing. The old haughty 
reserve of the court was still maintained. The letter 
delivered by the envoy from the governor-general was 
not noticed. The behaviour of subordinates to the 
envoy was sometimes insolent. The demand for 
some British-Indian subjects who were detained 
against their will, was evaded. Hpagyidoa was left 
with a kingdom equal indeed to that of Anoarahta in 
the eleventh century, and with more tributary Sh§,n 
states than that monarch possessed, but he brooded 
over his misfortunes, and was no longer the joyous, 
affable prince of the early years of his reign. The loss 
of Arakan and of the southern provinces, from which 
many of his family and dependants derived their 
incomes, restricted his means and soured his temper. 
The country, after the struggle of two years, was ex- 
hausted, and the numerous inmates of the palace could 
no longer be supported with the wonted profusion. 
Some years elapsed before a British resident was a-d. 1830. 
appointed under the treaty. At first his presence was 
regarded by the king as a mark of degradation, and the 
ministers urged that an embassy once in ten years from 
one court to the other, similar to their arrangement 
with China, would be more suitable. But during a 
residence of seven years colonel Burney gradually 
acquired a salutary influence. Burmese envoys were 
sent to India, and for the first time the king of Burma 
wrote a letter to the governor-general. The resident 
supported the Burmese government when he considered 
it had been hardly dealt with. He successfully urged 
its claim to the Kubo valley, which in the adjustment 


of the boundary after the war had been given to Mani- 
pur. As time passed, Hpagyidoa became subject to fits 
A.D. 1831. of melancholy. He no longer attended to public affairs, 

and had to be kept in strict seclusion. A commission 
of regency, presided over by the prince of Thar^wadi, 
with the Menthagyi and others as members, was ap- 
pointed. The president for a time attended the meetings 
at the royal council chamber, but the influence of the 
queen and of her brother was predominant, and he ceased 
to act. The prince was deeply incensed at being 
excluded from power in the name of the king, his 
brother. He secretly engaged followers, collected fire- 
arms, and kept robber chiefs in his pay in different 
parts of the country. He prepared for a struggle in the 
event of his brother's death. A chance event precipi- 
tated the crisis. By order of Menthagyi and the other 
ministers, his house was searched for a notorious bandit 
said to be concealed there. The prince suddenly left 
February, the city and fled to Muthsobomyu. He rapidly 
" "■ ' ^'' gathered round him the desperate men whom for years 

he had retained. The force at the disposal of the 
regency could not cope with the prince's determined 
followers. He marched down to Ava, and the city 
April. surrendered to him. He announced that he did not 

mean to dethrone his brother, but to rescue him from 
evil counsellors. Before many days he proclaimed that 
Hpagyidoa king Hpagyidoa had abdicated, and he took possession 
May. of the palace. The deposed king lived as a prisoner, 

but well treated, for several years. 

Though king Hpagyidoa was less blameworthy than 
any of his dynasty, yet every friend of humanity must 
rejoice that a power which conquered only to destroy, 
was, in retribution for its own misdeeds, driven from 
nearly all the countries which it had overrun and 
ruined, and in another generation was restricted to the 
land which history shows was the ancient home of the 
Burmese race. 

( 26l ) 



Information in Ptolemy's Geography — Marco Polo —Narrative of 
Nicoli di Couti — Athanasius Nikitin, a Russian traveller — Hiero- 
nimo di Santo Stefano — Ludovioo di Varthema — Portuguese in 
Pegu — Ferdinand Mendez Pinto — Caesar Fredericke of Venice — 
Gasparo Balbi — Ralph Fitch — Nicolas Pimenta— Peter William- 
son Floris— Sebastian Manrique in Arakan — Dutch and British 
traders in Pega. 

The earliest notice in western authors of the countries information 
which afterwards formed the Burmese empire is to be Geography. 
found in Ptolemy. Mention is therein made of cities 
in the interior and on the sea-coast. The delta of the 
Ir§,wadi appears as ChrysS ChersonSsus, the Suvarna 
Bhumi, or golden land of ancient India ; a term corre- 
sponding in meaning to Thatun, the Burmese form of 
the Talaing name for the ancient port and capital of 
the country. Argyre is identified by Colonel Yule with 
Arakan.^ After a long interval comes Marco Polo, who Marco Poio. 
may have entered upper Burma with the Mongol in- 
vading army coming from Yunnan in the last quarter 
of the thirteenth century. He gives some graphic 
sentences on the country, mingled with grave incon- 
sistencies as to the power of the king. In one chapter 
he terms him " a very puissant prince, with much terri- 
tory, and treasure, and people," who fought bravely 
a<^ainst the Tartars. In another he states that the 

' See " Notes on the Oldest of the Royal Geographical Society, 
Records of the Sea Route to China November 1882. 
from Western Asia. " Proceedings 


great khan conquered the country with a set of " glee- 
men and jugglers," having only a captain and a body of 
men-at-arms to help them. There were, however, two 
expeditions, at an interval of several years. In the last 
there was no fighting, and possibly Marco Polo's story 
of the gleemen and jugglers referred to it. But there 
are chronological difficulties in assuming that Marco 
was in the country during the latter period. 
Narrative of The first authentic narrative of travel in the countries 

of the IrS,wadi is by a Venetian, Mcolo di Conti.^ 
This traveller resided during the first -quarter of the 
fifteenth century at Damascus as a merchant. He pro- 
ceeded to Bussorah, and thence by sea, in company with 
some Persian merchants, to Cambay and Ceylon. He 
next went to the port of Tenasserim, then a place of 
importance, and from that to Bengal. After having 
sailed up the river Ganges, he returned to the coast, 
and took ship, apparently at a port on the Megna, for 
Arakan. He arrived at the estuary or mouth of the 
river, which he calls Eacha, and which foreigners still call 
the Arakan river, though that is not the native name. 
He proceeded to the capital, which, he correctly states, 
has the same name as the river. He then went eastward 
across the mountains, still apparently accompanied by 
some of his Persian friends, until they reached the river 
Irawadi, which he calls Dava, no doubt from the name 
of the capital. He proceeded up to Ava, where he 
arrived probably during or about A.D. 1430, when 
Monhyin MengtarS, was king. He names the country 
Macinus or Mah§,chin, a term he learnt from his Persian 
or Indian companions. He describes two methods of 
trapping and taming wild elephants as practised by the 
natives, the white elephant kept by the king, the rhino- 
ceros, and other animals. He mentions some customs 
characteristic of the people. Nicolo returned to the 

^ India in the Fifteenth Cen- Printed for the Hakluyt Society, 
tury, by R. H; Major, T.S.A. London, 1857. 


sea-coast by the Taungu route, and speaks of the city of 
Pegu, the capital of the province of the same name. 

The next traveller whose narrative of a visit to Athanasius 

-p "n 1 Nikitin, a Rns- 

-Burma or Pegu has been preserved, is Athanasius eiantraveiiei. 
Nikitin of Twer.^ He travelled in Asia between the 
years 1468 and 1474. He went to the city of Pegu, 
but only mentions the Indian traders there. He does 
not note the difference of race between them and the 
Burmese or Takings. 

The Genoese merchant Hieronimo di Santo Stefano Hieronimo di 
went to India from Egypt with Hieronimo Adorno. 
From Coromandel ^ they came to Pegu, and arrived at 
the city of that name in the year 1496. This was 
during the reign of Binya Ean, king of Pegu. He 
mentions Ava, where grow rubies and many other 
precious stones. " Our wish was to go to this place, 
but at that time the two princes were at war, so that 
no one was allowed to go from the one place to the 
other." The native histories do not mention any actual 
war between the kings of Pegu and Burma at this time ; 
but Binya E§,n attacked Dwarawati, a city or fort be- 
longing to Taungu, which was very likely to bring 
about war with Ava. Hieronimo Adorno died in Pegu 
on St. John's day. The property of the deceased was 
seized as a forfeit to the king, according to the law of 
Burma and Pegu in the ease of foreigners dying in the 
country. The property was, after much delay, restored 
to the survivor, but the traveller was detained in the 
country for a year and a half. 

Lewes Vertomannus (Ludovico di Varthema), of 
Eome, went from Pulicat, north of Madras, to Tenas- 
serim about the year 1503 or 1504, also in the reign 
of Binya Ean.* In his narrative, as translated in Hak- 

1 See " India in the Fifteenth nal, a few miles north of Madras, 
Century." Nikitin's narrative is or even N^gapatam, to the south, 
translated from Russian by the ^ His travels have been edited 
Count Wielhorsky. by the Rev. S. Percy Badger, for 

2 This may mean a port on the the Hakluyt Society, vol. xxxi. 
Krishna, or Godaveri, or Karima- 



Liidovico di 

Portuguese in 

luyt, he remarks : " The king useth not such pomps 
and magnificence as doth the king of Calicut, but is of 
such humanity and affability that a child may come to 
his presence and speak with him. It is in a manner 
incredible to speak of the rich jewels, precious , stones, 
pearls, and especially rubies which he weareth, sur- 
mounting in value any great city. Not long after news 
were brought that the king of Ava was coming with a 
mighty force, whom the king, with an innumerable 
army, went to resist." This army probably was the 
force which Binya E^n took up the Ir§,wadi to Prome, 
and thence on to Pugan. This expedition may have 
been made to resist an anticipated attack ; but in the 
Talaing history it is represented as a pilgrimage with 
an armed escort to the pagodas of those cities. > No 
collision with a Burmese army is recorded. Ludovico 
presented to the king some coral, and received in return 
about two hundred rubies, of about one hundred thou- 
sand ducats in value, " whereby he may be considered 
the most liberal king in the world." He mentions 
Armenians and Nestorian Christians as being in Pegu. 
Communication between Europe and India by the 
Cape of Good Hope had been opened by the Portuguese 
navigator Vasco de Gama, who reached Calicut on the 
Malabar coast in May 1498. A few years later Albu- 
querque built a fortress at Cochin, formed a settlement 
at Goa, and in 1510 occupied Malacca. In the follow- 
ing year he sent--Euy Nunez d'Acunha to Pegu, but 
there is no detailed account of his proceedings. In 
1 5 17 John de Silveyra, with four sail, went to Chitta- 
gaon, then subject to Arakan, and was invited to the 
latter country. In 15 19 Anthony Correa concluded a 
treaty at Martaban with the king of Pegu. From this 
time the Portuguese established a factory or trade dep6t 
at that port. Twenty years later Ferdinand de Morales 
was sent by the viceroy at Goa with a great galleon to 
Pegu. He was in the river at the time of the invasion 


of Pegu by Tabeag Shwghtt. He took part in the 
defence of the king of Pegu and was killed. 

The next traveller to Pegu is one whose name has Ferdinand 

, ° Mendez Pinto. 

become, though unjustly, a byword for untruthfulness.^ 
Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, who, though he evidently 
wrote his narrative of travels in Burma under the in- 
fluence of a certain degree of glamour, does not make 
himself a hero of adventure, nor does he exaggerate the 
wealth and splendour of the kings in Indo-China, and 
the numerical strength of their armies, more than other 
European travellers of the sixteenth century do; on 
the latter point they merely repeated what they were 
told by the natives. His geography of the interior of 
the countries he passed through, is certainly difficult to 
be reconciled with what is now known ; but that is no 
reason for attributing to him wilful falsehood, in the 
description of his journey from Burma through a part 
of Laos. The historical events he narrates, which can 
be compared with the native and other accounts, are 
correctly told. Pinto came by sea from Malacca, being 
sent by the governor of that place as an envoy to the 
viceroy of Martaban. Passing Tenasserim, then a 
Siamese port, where Portuguese merchants were settled, 
he mentions Mergui and Tavoy, and arrived at the 
mouth of the Martaban river (the Salwin), according to 
his statement, in March 1545. The city was being 
besieged by Tabeng Shw^ti. In the Burmese history 
this event is stated to have occurred in 1540-41. At 
the time of his arrival at Martaban the siege had lasted 
more than six months. The surrender occurred about 
a month later. His estimate of the number of men in 
the besiegers' camp as being seven hundred thousand 
is no doubt a great exaggeration. 

Pinto having come accredited as an envoy to the 

1 Congreve, in "Love for Love,'' thou liar of the first magnitude." 
act ii. scene 5 : — "Ferdinand Men- Translation of the travels of Pinto, 
dez Pinto was but a type of thee, 3 vols. London, 1663. 


viceroy of Martaban, incurred thereby the displeasure 
of the Burmese king. He was detained as a prisoner, 
and sent over to Pegu under the charge of the treasurer 
of " Bramaa," so he styles king Tabeng Shwehtl. He 
afterwards accompanied the Burmese army to the siege 
of Prome, Avhich city surrendered, according to the Bur- 
mese history, in June, a.d. i 542.^ His narrative of this 
event, while greatly exaggerating the numerical strength 
of the army and the numbers of killed and wounded, 
may be accepted as proving his presence. He mentions 
that the city gates were opened by the treachery of one 
of the commanders in the city. He now for the first 
time mentions Bureng Naung as the foster-brother of 
king Tabeng Shw^htt under the title of Chaumigrem ; 
the attempted relief of Prome by the Shin king of Ava, 
and other incidents recorded in the Burmese and Taking 
histories. His exaggerations consist in stating that the 
Bramaa king had eighty thousand men killed and thirty 
thousand wounded. His statement that five hundred 
Portugals were killed and wounded at the siege is pos- 
sibly correct, as it would include their native followers. 
Pinto then relates how the king followed up the 
Sh§,n army to Ava. Here he has confused events which 
happened in 1545 with those of 1542. In the former 
year there was a combination among the northern Shin 
chiefs to retake Prome. The allied army was com- 
manded by the chief of Unbaung whom Pinto appa- 
rently mentions as the " Siamon," a corruption of " Shin 
Meng." As the northern Shin chiefs had entered into 
an alliance to resist the designs of Tabeng Shwehtl upon 
Ava, the account by Pinto of a Burmese officer of high 
rank being sent by the claimant to the throne of Burma, 
to secure the good-will or active support of the eastern 
Shin states and the king of Zimmfe, is credible and 
probable. Pinto accompanied the envoy, and though 

^ See chap. xii. 


there is no reason for doubting the general truth of 
the story, the description as to the mode of travel, 
partly by land and water, is confused ; and the geo- 
graphy of the country as described or inferred, altogether 
impossible. But he was still with the Burmese aa one 
detained against his will, and probably could not keep 

The envoy and his escort proceeded by boat up the 
Irawadi, and somewhere above Ava avoided the country 
of the " Siamon," and branched off to the east. But 
the narrative is so worded as to imply that after 
leaving the Irawadi they proceeded the whole way 
by water. They came to a great river — no doubt 
the Salwtn — in the territory or under the control of a 
chief of Laos or the king of Zimmh, who is called, the 
Calaminham. The envoy was received in great state 
by this potentate, who pledged his friendship to King 
Tabeng Shwehti, and agreed to support him against the 
" Siamon." The party then made their way back to the 
Salwin, and came down by water to Martaban. Pinto, 
together with other Portuguese who were detained by 
the Burmese king of Pegu as useful servants, at length 
made his escape and reached Bengal. As he could 
scarcely have been in a position to keep notes of his 
'journey, he may be excused for the confusion he has 
made in the means of transit by land and water, as well 
as in the geography of the country.^ 

After Pinto, the next traveller whose narrative de- csesar 
serves notice is that of Caesar 1 redericke or Venice, trans- of Venice, 
lated in Purchas. This traveller arrived in Pegu in 1 5 6y, 
when king Bureng Naung was absent on his expedition 
to Siam. He is truthful in his statements, yet he exag- 

^ The notion among the Bur- PhOosophioal Journal, vol. v. for 

mese of there being a continuous 1821). Mention of this is also 

interior communication by water made in Dalrymple (vol. i. p. 113); 

between Ava and Martaban is men- the communication being over a 

tioned by Dr. Francis Buchanan tract of low land overflowed in the 

(Hamilton) in a paper on the geo- floods, 
graphy of Burma (Edinburgh 


gerates in some respects. Thus he states that the 
invading army numbered one million four hundred 
thousand men ; and of the reinforcements sent to 
the army in Siam six months later, he states that 
he saw " when that the officers that were in Pegu 
sent five hundred thousand men of warre to furnish the 
places of them that were slaine and lost in that assault." 
Caesar was again in Pegu when Bureng Naung returned 
with the captives taken on the surrender of AyuthiS..^ 
He describes the new city of Pegu, which was completed 
while he was in the country. It was surrounded by a 
wall, a complete square, with five gates on each face. 
There was a broad moat, having water in which were 
crocodiles. The streets were spacious, crossing at right 
angles, and perfectly straight from one gate to another. 
The king's palace was in the centre. It consisted of 
many pavilions of wood, gilded all over. Caesar Fre- 
dericke, after stating that the king of Pegu can bring 
a million and a half of men into the field, observes, 
that " for people, dominions, gold, and silver, he far 
exceeds the power of the Great Turk in treasure and 
strength." He describes also how the king " sitteth 
every day in person to hear the suits of his subjects, up 
aloft in a great hall, on a tribunal seat with his barons 
round about ; " while on the ground, forty paces distant, 
are the petitioners " with their supplications in their 
hands, which are made of long leaves of a tree, and a 
present or gift according to the weightiness of their 
matter. If the king think it good to do them that 
favour or justice they demand, then he commandeth 
to take the presents out of their hands ; but if he think 
their demand be not just or according to right, he com- 
mandeth them away without taking their gifts or pre- 
sents." The traveller relates the consideration shown 
to foreign merchants. ' " If any Christian dieth in the 

^ By the Burmese history this was in August 1570. See chap- 
ter xiii 


kingdom of Pegu, the king and his officers rest heirs of 
a third of his goods, and there hath never been any 
deceit or fraud used in this matter. I have known 
many rich men that have dwelled in Pegu, and in their 
age have desired to go into their own country to die 
there, and have departed with all their goods and sub- 
stance without let or trouble." 

Of Arakan Caesar Fredericke reports : " The king of 
Kachim hath his seat in the middle coast between Ben- 
gala and Pegu, and the greatest enemy he hath is the 
king of Pegu. And this king of Eachim may arm two 
hundred gaUies or fasts by sea ; and by land he hath 
certain sluices with which, when the king of Pegu pre- 
tendeth any harm towards him, he may at his pleasure 
drowne a great part of the country." 

These sluices were for the defence of the capital, and 
proved to be efficient when required to be used. 

G-asparo Balbi, jeweller of Venice, came to Pegu in oaaparo Baiw. 
1583, when ISTanda Bureng, the son of Bureng Naung, 
was on the throne. He relates that the king was at 
war with his uncle the king of Ava, because the latter 
had refused to pay him homage. Suspecting that some 
of his nobles secretly supported the king of Ava in 
his disobedience, he had them, their wives, and children, 
burnt alive in a great temporary building. Balbi states 
the number thus put to death at four thousand, and 
that he was present at the time. The incident, except 
as to the number executed, which must be exaggerated, 
corresponds with what is related in the Burmese history. 
He mentions the battle between the two kings, in which 
the king of Pegu, though victorious, lost two hundred 
thousand men. 

Ealph Fitch, an English merchant, came to Pegu in naiph pitch. 
1586-87, during the reign of Nanda Bureng. He de- 
scribes the country as being then in a prosperous state, 
and the foreign trade of great extent. The capital he 
describes as being of great magnificence, and the streets 


" the fairest that ever I saw." He mentions the great 
pagoda near the modern town of Eangoon, known as 
Shwfe Daguu. JSTear it was a Buddhist monastery or 
great hall of assembly for religious purposes, " gilded with 
gold within and without." Fitch vaguely says of the 
king that he keeps great state, and " at my being there 
he went to Odia (AyuthiS,) with three hundred thousand 
men and five thousand elephants." 

Fitch was for some time at Chittagaon, then sub- 
ject to Arakan, and there gathered much information 
regarding that country. He observes, " The Mogon, 
which be of the kingdom of Eecon and Eame, be 
stronger than the king of Tippara." ^ The name Eamu 
is applied to the country of Chittagaon in a general 
description of Bengal which is found in Purchas.^ 
These instances probably explain the name of Euhmi, 
Eahma, or Eahmaa given to a kingdom on the sea- 
coast of the Bay of Bengal by the Arabian voyagers 
in the ninth and tenth centuries of the Christian era. 

It has been supposed to refer to Eamrt in Arakan, or 
to Eamanya, the classic name of Pegu.* There is now 
a village called Eamu in the southern part of the 
Chittagaon district, which is a police-station. It pro- 
bably represents the name by which the territory in 
question was known to the Arabs, and which we may 
now conclude extended from the north bank of the 
river Naf to the confines of Bengal. Pitch heard the 
name when in Chittagaon, and the king of Arakan then 
held the country north of the Nif. 
Nicolas Pimenta. Mcolas Pimenta, a Portuguese priest, who came to 
the country in 1598, relates the terrible condition to 
which Pegu was brought, by the long wars carried on 
for nearly half a century. The famine was so great 

1 See Purchas, vol. ii. p. 1736. F.R.S., in Numismata Orientalia, 

2 See vol. V. p. 508. vol. iii. part i. ; and a review of the 
' See remarks on the Indian same in the Athensum for Sept. 

Balhara, by Mr. E. Thomas, 30, 1882. 


" that they did eat each other ; and in the city of Pegu 
there were not of all ages and sexes above thirty thou- 
sand remaining." He quotes from the letters of two 
Jesuit fathers of a later date as follows : " It is a 
lamentable spectacle to see the ruins of temples and 
noble edifices, the ways and fields full of skulls and 
bones of wretched Peguans killed and famished, and 
cast into the river in such numbers that the multitude 
of carkasses prohibiteth the way and passage of any 

Peter Williamson Floris, a Hollander, was in Arakan Peter wiiuam- 

1 , « T f, T . son Floris. 

m the year 1608, and for several years afterwards m 
Pegu and the neighbouring countries. He gives a 
sketch of the transactions of the time, including the 
story of Philip de Britto at Syriam, and observes of the 
desolate state of Pegu consequent on the long wars : 
" In this manner came this mighty empire to ruin, so 
that at this day there is no remembrance of it." He 
returned to Europe in 161 5. 

Sebastian Manrique, a friar of the order of St. Sebastian Man- 

•^ . •,! ji vique in Arakan. 

Augustine, was sent from Goa, m company with others 
of the same order, to Bengal in the year 1612} Man- 
rique was instructed to proceed to Arakan, where there 
was a mission. He sailed from Chittagaon to Dianga, 
the Portuguese settlement, situated on the coast, appa- 
rently towards the Sungu river, to the south of the Kur- 
naphuli. From thence he went by land to the city of 
Arakan, and describes the great difficulties encountered 
in crossing the steep mountain-ranges. It must have 
been at the commencement of the rainy season, when the 
storms of wind are very severe. From what is said of the 
" roar of tygers and other wild animals," it is probable 
that he heard the loud deep-toned cries of the hoolook 
ape, which resound dismally in those dark forest soli- 
tudes, and startle the traveller to this day. The doleful 

1 Historical Account of Dis- Hugh Murray. Edinburgh, 1820. 
coveries and Travels in Asia, by Vol. iii. pp. 96-114. 


sounds would alarm those who did not know the source 
of it, for the animal generally keeps hidden from view. 
Arrived at the city of Arakan, Sebastian describes the 
king's palace, having " gilded columns of such immense 
magnitude as to make it quite astonishing that they 
should be composed of a single tree. It also had a hall 
covered all over with the purest gold." The rubies and 
other riches in the palace are mentioned as being of 
wonderful size and beauty, and of immense value. 
Manrique appears to have witnessed the ceremony of a 
Eahan's or Phungyi's funeral. He apparently mistook 
the lofty car or catafalque on which the body is placed, 
and burnt, for an idol car like that of Juggernaut ; and 
states that people met death by throwing themselves 
under the wheels. This must have been a mistake of 
his, though accidentally some persons may have been 
killed on the . occasion ; for there is at such funerals 
ardent struggling between two sides or rival companies 
of men, to have the honour and merit of dragging the 
body to the place where it is to be burnt. He likewise 
describes the splendour of the ceremonial of the king's 
coronation or consecration ; but when he mentions that 
thousands of human beings were put to death to avert 
a predicted evil, it is probable he merely repeated tales 
which from time to time arise among the people even 
at the present day, without any more foundation than 
the tradition of an ancient pre-Buddhistic custom. The 
king of whom these horrors are told is Meng Khamaung, 
the darling of the Arakanese people. 
Dutch and Bri- The Portuguesc Settlement at Syriam had been de- 

tish traders in , . ^ 

Pegu. stroyed. Other Europeans now appeared in Pegu. 

Towards the close of the sixteenth century the Dutch 
had, in spite of opposition, gone round the Cape of 
Good Hope, and supplanted the Portuguese in the spice 
trade. They took possession of the Moluccas, and 
formed establishments in Java and Sumatra. Early in 
the seventeenth century they had possession of the 


island of Negrais. The first English -East India Com- 
pany had sent ships to the eastern seas under Lancas- 
ter, who appeared at Acheen in 1602, and established a 
factory. By the year 16 1 2 the company had factories 
at Surat and other places on the coast of western India. 
About the same time they had agents and factories at 
Syriam, Prome, Ava, and, there is reason to believe, at 
Bamoa. A dispute between the Burmese governor of 
Pegu and the Dutch, caused the expulsion of the mer- 
chants of both nations from the country before the 
middle of the seventeenth century. The Dutch never 
returned. After this there is no record for many years 
as to British intercourse with Burma. Occasionally 
private traders may have gone to the ports, but the 
East India Company had no agents in the country. 
British merchants were settled in Siam ; among other 
places at Mergui, then a Siamese port. In the account 
of the East Indies by Captain Alexander Hamilton,^ it 
is related that the company was so jealous of the num- 
ber of free merchants residing there, that in a.d. 1687 
Captain Weldon was sent in a ship from Madras to 
drive them out. He threatened the governor of the 
port, ordering him to expel the private traders, and in 
a scuffle that occurred, killed some Siamese. In revenge, 
seventeen Englishmen who were in the town were 
massacred. After this British subjects were long ex- 
cluded from Siam. The mission of M. de Chaumont, 
sent by Louis XIY., had arrived in 1685, and English- 
men had fallen into disrepute. 

The first proposal for a renewal of commercial inter- 
course between Burma and the British factories in 
India came from the former. In 1688 a letter was 
received at Fort St. George (Madras) from the Burmese 
cTovernor of Syriam, the only port to which foreign ships 
were admitted. The letter contained an invitation for 

1 Vol. ii. chap, xxxviii. London, 1744. 


British merchants to settle in Pegu. Nothing was done 
at that time, but in 1698 Mr. Higginson, the governor 
of Madras, sent Mr. Fleetwood to be the commercial 
resident at Syriam. He proceeded to Ava, and had an 
audience with the king. Some trade privileges were 
granted, and permission to build a factory at Syriam. 
Two years later Mr. Bowyear succeeded as resident. In 
1709 Mr. AUanson went as envoy to Ava with a letter 
from governor Pitt. The British continued to trade at 
Syriam until 1740, when the Talaing rebellion began. 
The company's resident was withdrawn in 1744. 


List of the Kings of Burma as entered in the 
MahI Eajaweng. 

No. I. — List of Legendary Kings supposed to have reigned 

in Tagaung. 




to each Pre- 
ceding Kmg. 


( First of the dy- 


Abi Rajsl 


l nasty; came from 
( India. 


Kan RSjangfe . 



Jambudipa Rajfi, 



Thenggatha RajS, 



"Wippanna R6J£t 



Dewata R&J& . 



Munika Raja . 



NSga R&ja 



Inda Raja 




Thamuti RSja . 



Dewa Raja 



Mahinda Raja . 



WimalaRaja . 



Thihabanu Raja 



Denggana RSja 



Kantha Raja . 



Kaiingga Raja . 



Thengdwfe Raja 



Hibala Raja . 



HanthaRaja . 



Wara Raja 



Alaung Raja . 



Koalaka Rajl, . 



Thirira Raja . 



TheagylRaja . 



Tainghkyit Raja 



Padun Raja . 




Menghlagyl Raja . 



Thanthuthiha Raja . 



Dengga Raja . 



HindaRaja_^ . 



Moariya Raja . 



Binnaka Raja . 




No. 2. — List of Legendary Kings supposed to have reigned at 
Mauroya and Tagaung. 



to each pre- 
ceding king. 







Thado Taingra Eajg, 
Thado Eahtara Meng 
Thado Tahkwunra Meng. 
Thado Hlanbyanza Meng 
Thado Shwfe Meng . 
Thado Galunra Meng 
Thado Nagara Meng 
Thado Nagtoaing Meng . 
Thado Rahoala Meng 
Thado Paungshfe Meng . 
Thado Kyaukshfe Meng . 
Thado Hsenglauk Meng . 
Thado Hsengtin Meng 
Thado Tainghkyit Meng . 
Thado Menggyl Meng 
Thado Dhamma E^jft, or \ 
Maha Eaja Meng ] 

Came from India. 

( Dethroned by 
J invaders. 

























Dynasty establisbed at Tha-r6-khet- 

Son of Thado Dhamma ESjS Meng, 

king of Tagaung. 

A change of dynasty. Nga-ta-bd 
was the adopted son of TM-ri-rit. 

ship of each 

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Relationship not stated. 

At the death of this king in a.d. 95, 
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Three brothers of Sh3,n race, who 

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Son of Kyau-tswd, the deposed 

king of Pugan, adopted by 

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U-za-na . ... 

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This prince was the son of Thl-ha- 
thii Ta-tsf-sheng, who reigned 
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Stepson of Thi-ha-thu Ta-si- 

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Names uf Kings. 

A-theng-kha-yA Tsau Ywon . 

Ta-ra-bya-gyi .... 

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Nau-ra-htA Meng-rai . 
Ta-ra-bya-ngai .... 
Meng byauk Thi-ha-pa-te. . 

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Founder of the city of Ava. This 
king, said to be descended from 
the ancient kings of Tagaung, was 
on his mother's side grandson of 
Atheng-kha-yd Tsau-ywon, the 
Sh^n king of Tsa-gaing. 

Elected tothethrolie as a descendant 
of the kings of Pug^n, and of the 
family of the three ShSn brothers. 


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Hseng-phyii Sheng, Ta-ra-bya 

Pyin-tsing-meng-tsw^, or Meng 

Thf-ha thii, Hseng-phy^i-Sheng . 

Meng-hla-ngai .... 

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Son of Bureng Naung. Died in Momeit. 

Reigned in Pegu from a.d. 1613. 

This king, not having succeeded in establish- 
ing himself in Ava, is not included among 
the kings in the Maha Rajaweng. 

The seat of government established at Ava. 
Reigned a few months. 

Taken prisoner when Ava was captured by 
the Talaing army, a.d. 1751. Taken to 
Pegu, and there put to death. 


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Kings who Eeigned in Pegu. 

I. — List of the Kmgs of Suvarna Bhumi or Tha-htun, 
from the Native Chronicles. 

I Thi-ha-Ra-dza.i 

31 Bbum-nja Radza. 

2 Thiri Dhammd Thauka. 

32 Man-da Rddzd. 

3 Titha. 

33 Ma-bing-tha Radza. 

4 Dliamma Pa-la. 

34 Dham-ma tsek-ka-ran, 

5 Dhaiii-ma dhadza. 

35 Thu-tsan ba-di. 

6 Eng-gu-ra. 

36 Bad-da-ra Radza. 

7 Uba-de-wa Meng. 

37 Na-ra-thii Radza. 

8 Thi-wa-rit. 

38 Tsam-bii-di-pa. 

9 Dzau-ta-kummd. 

39 Ke-tba-rit Rddza. 

lo Dham-nid Thau-ka 

40 Wi-dza-ya Kum-md. 

1 1 Uttara. 

41 Ma-ni Radza. 

12 Kd-tha-wim. 

42 Tek-ka meng. 

13 Maha-thd-la. 

43 Ku-tba Rddza. 

14 A-ra-ka. 

44 Dip-pa Radzd. 

15 Na-ra-thii-ra. 

45 Na-ia Rddzd. 

16 Ma-ha-Bad-da-ra. 

46 Rd-dzd Thiira. 

17 A-da-ra. 

47 Tsit-ta Eddza. 

18 An-gu-la. 

48 Di-ga Rddza. 

19 U-run-na-ta. 

49 TJt-ta-ma Rddzd. 

20 Malia Thuganda. 

50 Tbi-ri Rddzd. 

2 1 Thuganda Kadza. 

51 Dham-ma Rddzd. 

22 Brabmaddt. 

52 Md-hd Tsit-ta. 

23 Manya Rddza. 

53 Gan-da Rddzd. 

24 A-di-ka. 

54 Dze-ya Rddza. 

25 Ma-ra-di Eddza, 

55 Thii-ma-na Rddza. 

26 Tha-du-ka. 

56 Mad-da-ka Rddzd. 

27 Dhaai-ma bi-ya. 

57 A-min-na Rddzd. 

28 Thu-da-thl 

58 U-din-na Rddza. 

29 Dip-pa RddzA. 

59 Ma-nu-ha Meng.'' 

30 A-tbek-ka Radza. 

1 The first king. He died the Tha-htun when the city was taken 

year Gtoadama entered Nirvana, and destroyed by Anoarahtst, king 

B.C. 543. Came ^om India. of Puga,n, about the year a.d. 1050. 

^ Mantiha (No. 59) was king of 












city of Pegu. 

Eelationship not stated. 
Ditto ditto. 


Eelationship not stated. 

From this time a blank of about five 

hundred years occurs in the annals 

of Pegu, during which the names of 

)eriods, the religious ascendancy or reli- 

. The close of Titha's reign would then 

3, when Pegu became subject to Burma 

atrrpGaoDtig troBg 
JO diqsnorj'Bxa^ 










no native kings are entered. The two last kings in this list probably represent two j 
gious strife of Brahmanists and Buddhists, extending over about three hundred years 
synchronise with the conquest of Pegu and Thahtun by AnaurahtS, about AD. 105 
for about two hundred and thirty years. 

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Abhi Raja, founder of Tagaung, 7. 

Acheen, factory at, 273. 

Aditsa, 20. 

Ahmed Shah, 78. 

Ahoms, 13. 

Alaunghpra, hero, 149 ; history of, 
150; his exploits, 151-170; his 
death, 170. 

Alaungsithu, his reign, 39-46 ; his 
death, 40, 49. 

Albuquerque, 264. 

Ali Khan, see Meng Ehari. 

Allanson, 274. 

Alves, Captain, 1S5. 

Amarapura, 21 r, 213, 227, 230. 

American missionaries confined, 

Ananda, temple, 39 ; its structure 
and sculpture, 39. 

Anoarahta, 21 ; his reforms, 22, 33, 
34 ; conversion, 34 ; ambition, 
35 ; visits Yunnan, 36 ; his mar- 
riage, 36 ; search for a, relic and 
its results, 36, 37 ; end of his 
reign, 37 ; his invasion of Ara- 
kan, 46. 

Anoarahta, KS,maru, 72. 
Arakan as a missionary, 34. 
Arakan, the country of, 41 ; its 
people and language, 41 ; its 
derivation, 42 ; Hts chronicles, 42, 

45 ; becomes tributary to Pugftn, 

46 ; invaded, 72 ; account of, 76 ; 
battlefield, 77 ; city, 78 ; invaded, 
79, 100; its strength, 171; at- 
tacked, 176; kings of, 180-182; 
earthquakes at, 182 ; reoccupied, 
187; conquered, 213; image of, 
214 ; revolt in, 220 ; occupied by 
British, 247 ; Burmese driven 
from, 248 ; ceded to the British, 
257 ; palace'at, 272. 

Arakaneae emigrants, 222. 

Ari priests, their lives, 22, 33 ; ex- 
pulsion of the, 34. 

Armies, Mongol, in China, 52-54; 
Burmese and Chinese, 196. 

Army, Burmese, 53 ; Mongol, 58, 

59 ; Chinese, 74, 84 ; of Bureng 
Naung, 106 ; at Ava, 108 ; Bur- 
mese, no ; of Shans, no ; of Ta- 
laings, 1 10 ; of Bureng Naung, 
119; at Syriam, 126. 

Aryans, 3 ; their influence, 29. 

As&m, 227, 228 ; expedition to, 234 ; 
occupation of, 237; operations in, 
240, 241 ; Burmese driven from, 
248 ; ceded to the British, 257. 

Astronomy, Burmese, 21. 

Athenghkara reigns over Sagaing, 

60 ; dies, 61. 

Ava founded, 63 ; Chinese at, 75 ; 
king of, 81 ; army at, 82, 83 ; 
throne taken, 87 ; revolution in, 
99; taken, 107; attacked, 120, 
121 ; remade capital, 135 ; at- 
tacked by Chinese, 138 ; again 
capital, 141 ; captured, 147 ; 
burned, 148 ; occupied by Alaun- 
ghpra, 153 ; besieged by Talaings, 
154; attacked, 185; again capi- 
tal, 232 ; British army at, 242. 

Ayuthia, 168, 169, 188. 

Baber, 172. 

Baker, Captain, 161. 

Balbi, Gaspare, traveller, 269. 

Bamoa, 85. 

Barbek, Shah, king of Bengal, 78. 

Basoahpyu reigns, 78. 

Bassein, town of, 69, 158. 

Battle near Male, 53 ; Pegu, 105 ; 

Panwa, 120; Ayuthia, 18S. 
Battles of Kirhi, Mahielpur, and 

Ashtt, 226. 




Battlefield of, Arakan, 77 ; Bur- 
mese Thebaid, 256. 

Bell, famous, 133, 148, 177. 

Benares, 233. 

Bengal, king of, 77, 78. 

Bengtale reigns, 136. 

Bentley, 21. 

Besarb, 22. 

BhinnakS,, 8, 9. 

Bhotiyu, language of, 16. 

Bigaudet, Bishop, vi. 

Binya Dalfi., king of Pegu, 144-148. 

Binya Dhamma Rajsl reigns, 81 ; 
poisoned, 83. 

Binyaeloa, his reign, 67. 

Biny a K^ng, 8 r . 

Binya Kyan, 112. 

Binyan reigns, 67 ; dies, 68. 

BinySnwe, see REljUdirit. 

Binya R^n, 81, 82, 86, 88, 89. 

BinyS. R^nldt reigns, 83 ; dies, 84. 

BinyarHnda, see Zoazip. 

Binya, Warn, 84. 

Boadi, temple, 51. 

Bodoahpra, king, 209-230; his 
character, 231. 

Bourno, M., 161, 162. 

Bowring, his Siam, 66. 

Bowyear, 274. 

Brahma Siddanta, whenwritteil, 21. 

Bricks, 14, 15. 

Brisbane, Commodore, 254. 

British traders, 272 ; difficulties of, 
238-240 ; troops, hardships of, 
240, 245, 248. 

British, the, command the Ir^wadi, 
243 ; army, opposed, 242 ; at- 
tacked, 244, 245. 

British Government, the, 228, 234, 
235, 236, 255 ; its difficulties, 237. 

Buchanan, Dr. Prancis, v. ; re- 
marks of, 267. 

Buddha, 7 ; effigies of, 14 ; his 
image, 44 ; his images first intro- 
duced, 45. 

Buddha Gayd, its temple, 46. 

Buddhaghoso, 20, 21 ; mission of, 

Buddhism, by whom established, 
22 ; decay in Ceylon, 38. 

Buddhist, images, 14 ; missionaries, 
26 ; scriptures, 20, 29, 34 ; decay 
of its religion, 45 ; kings, use of 
names, 78. 

Buildings, religious, when erected, 

Bureng Nslrabadi, 84. 

Bureng Naung, commander-in-chief, 
97-102 ; vanquished, 104, at Ta- 
ungu, 105; at Ava, 106-108; 
conquers ShSn states, ib. ; sub- 
dues Zimmfe, 109; his title, ib. ; 
his reforms, no; his invasions, 
I lO-1 15 ; obtains holy relic, 117; 
prepares to invade Arakan, 119; 
his death, ib. ; his successor, 1 20. 

Burma, king of, attacked from Cey- 
lon, 50; from China, 53; and 
defeat, ib. ; invades Pegu, 69 ; 
entered by Chinese refugees, 1 36. 

Burmese, country of, I ; race, 2 ; 
gods of, ib. ; Buddhist religion 
introduced to, ib.; union of tribes, 
ib. ; effect of tradition as to de- 
scent on the, ib. ; writings, vi. ; 
kings, 7 ; language of the, 16 ; 
inscription in, 46 ; as soldiers, 

Burmese army, the, defeated by 
the British, 246, 247, 255, 256. 

Burmese Government, 242 ; diffi- 
culty of the, 252 ; supported by 
the British Resident, 259. 

Burney, Colonel, his influence, 259. 

Byanarit, king of Siam, 12 1 ; died, 

Calcutta, troops at, 237. 
Campbell, Archibald, Sir, General, 

238, 239, 248, 251, 252, 254, 257. 
Canning, Captain, 223, 224. 
Chanda-Surya, 44 ; his image of 

Buddha, 44. 
Chandi Lah RajS, 172. 
Chandra dynasty, 45 ; descendants 

of the, 45, 46. 
Chandra Kanta, 227, 228, 234. 
Chaumont, M. de, 273. 
Cheduba, 238. 
China conquered, 53 ; origin of war 

between Burma and China, igo, 

Chinese army, 74, 75, 196 ; refugees 

enter Burma, 136 ; slaughter of, 

139 ; defeat of, 200; peace, 201, 

Chittagaon, district of, 47, 78, 79, 

80 ; taken, 172, 175 ; made over, 

178; Arakanese expelled from, 

Chittagaon, besieged, 180 ; immi- 
grants, 222 ; attack on, 235 ; 

brigade at, 236 ; harassed, 237 ; 

British army at, 247. 



Christianity, converts to, 127. 

Christians, 129, 139. 

Chryse, 24. 

Chukapha, 13. 

Civilisation of Mongoloid tribes, 28. 

Cochin, fortress at, 264. 

Coins, 78, 80. 

Cornwallis, Lord, 227 ; Port, 237. 

Correa, Anthony, 264. 

Cotton, Willoughby, General, 24S, 

249, 252. 
Cox, Hiram, Captain, 221, 227. 
Crawfurd's embassy, 135, 259. 

Dacca, 178. 

DUla taken, 74 ; tovifn of, 81, 82. 

Dalton, 6. 

Damayangyl temple, 49. 

Danubyu, 248, 249 ; siege of, 250. 

Daya E,8.ja, 9. 

Delhi, king of, 77. 

Dhammazedi, 84, 85 ; his good 

reign, 86. 
Dhinyawati, city of, 43 . 
Dw^rawadi, fort of, 89. 
Dwarawati, see Sandoway. 
Doaly4 reigns, 79. 
Doomsday-book, Burmese, 211. 
Dragon-worship, 21, 22; account 

of, 33 ; priests of, ib. 
Dutch, the, 272. 
Dwuttabaung, 10, 11. 

Eabthqdakes, 182. 212. 

Elephants, veneration of, Io8, no, 
III, 123, 230. 

Europeans, 157, 1 58, 1 62 ; murdered, 
168 ; first appearance in Eastern 
Bengal, 172; population, 173; 
confined, 238, 25 1 ; troops, 239, 
247 ; threatened death of , 25 1 : as 
soldiers, 258. 

Fa-Hian, 33. 

Factories, British, 143, 158, 159, 

t6i, 185, 273; French, 159; 

Portuguese, 264. 
Fergusson, James, remarks on 

temples, 39. 
Fitch, Kalph, traveller, 269, 270. 
Fleetwood, 274. 
Floris, Peter Williamson, traveller, 

Francis Don, Admiral, 176. 
Frederick, Caesar, traveller, 267, 

Funeral practices, loS. 


Germano, San, Father, 230. 

Goa settlement, 264. 

Goadama, 26, 27 ; his stations, 51. 

Goadoapaleng temple, 50. 

Gold, from whence, 25 ; leaf, ib. 

Gonzales, Sebastian, 174-177. 

Gour, 77. 

Gowhatti, 241. 

Gun, famous, 156, 157. 

HansAwadi, city of, 29 ; by whom 
built, 30 ; origin of name, ift. ; 
pagoda adorned, 98 ; invested, 
123; princesses from, 1 65 ; corpse 
of the king taken to, 170. 

Hieronimo Adorno, traveller, 263. 

Hieronimo di Santo Stefano, tra- 
veller, 263. 

Higginson, 274. 

Himalayan tribes, J- 

Hodgson, Bryan, 5, 6, 16, 173. 

Hpagyidoa, king, 232, 233, 235, 
241, 250 ; influence of his queen 
and brother-in-law, 250, 253 ; his 
despondency, 259, 260 ; de- 
throned, ib. 

Hsengbyusheng, king, i86, 207. 

Hunter, his statistics, 48, 173. 

Ibkahim, king of Jounpour, 7 7. 

Images, 109, 172, ig8. 

Indian settlers, 5. 

Indies, East, 273. 

Innes, Colonel, 241. 

Inscriptions, Burmese, viii., ix., 46, 

Invasion of Arakan by Sh§,ns, 46 ; 

by Burmese, 79. 
Invasion of Burma by Mongols, 54; 

by Chinese, 84; by Tabeng 

Shweti, 100 ; from Manipur, 14 1; 

from Pegu, 146. 
Invasion of Siam by Alaunghpr^, 

IrS,wadi, towns of the, 4 ; people of 

the, 5, 7, 19 ; land of, 89. 

Java, 272. 

Judson, 257. 

Jyntla left to British, 257. 

Kachak invaded, 235 ; occupation 
of, 237 ; left to the British, 257. 
Kalfe, chief of, 83. 
Kalima, the, 78. 
K&maru, governor of Arakan, 72. 



Kan Rajagyi, 7, 8, 44. 

Kan Rajftngfe, 7, 8. 

K4nrto tribe, 5. 

Karen tribes, 90. 

Kaungmhudoa great pagoda, 135. 

Ehettara, 11. 

Khrusd, the golden isle, 25. 

Khun Mhaingnge, 99. 

Khunloa, reign and death, 66. 

Kienlung, emperor, 196. 

Koathambi, 20. 

Kshatriyas, influence of the, 2 ; im- 
migration of the, 3, 9 ; monarchy 
of the, overthrown, 14, 20. 

Kublai Khan, his conquest of China, 
53 ; his death, 59. 

Kubo, valley of, 49, 229. 

Kuia KyS, Meng killed, 50. 

Kumslnchi, 179. 

Kyaikkalo, 244. 

Kyaingtun, 192. 

Kyltntsittha, 23, 38, 46. 

Kyaukp^ndaung, its traces of civi- 
lisation, 44. 

Kyaungdarlt, 20, 21. 

Kylmyindaing town, 239 ; British 
outpost, 240, 245, 246 ; Burmese 
reappear at, 241 ; driven from, 

Kyi Wungy!, the, 244, 252, 25^. 

Kyoaswa, his reign, 54 ; forced to 
become monk, 58 ; murdered, ib. 

Kyoasw^ Nyasisheng reigns, 60. 

Kwunhsoa Kyaung Phyii, 22. 

Laos besieged, 112; becomes tri- 
butary, 116. 

"Lame" vrar-sloop, 237. 

Lassen, Professor, vi., 3, 11, 24. 

Law, Burmese, 112, 

Legends, of preservation of the royal 
race, I ; Buddhist, 233. 

Lengzeng, 109. 

LetyamenguSn, 46. 

Leyden, v. 

Lewes Vertomanus, traveller, 263, 

"Liffey" frigate, 237, 238. 

Loall, merchant, 190, 191. 

Loatart, merchant, 191. 

Ludovico di Varthema, traveller, 

Madbas, troops at, 237. 
Maga, to whom applied, 47, 48, 172. 
Maha Bandulu, officer, 233, 236, 
23 7, 243 ; attacks the British, 243- 

245 ; defeated, 246, 247 ; makes 
a stand, 248 ; killed, 250 ; his in- 
fluence, ib. 

Maha, DhammS, Eaja king, 128 ; 
recovers the empire of Bureng 
Naung, ib..; dies, 133. 

Mahamuni, 215. 

Maha Noarahta, 188-190. 

MahS Pawara Dhamma 'BA]t king, 

Maha Raja Dibati, 87, 140. 
Maha Rajaweng, v., vii., 19, 21, 22, 

34, 38. 

Maha Taing Chandra, 45. . 

Maha Thambawa, 10, 11.- 

Maha Thihathura, 86, 92, 199, 200, 
201, 204, 206. 

Malacca, 264. 

Male, 9, 20, S3. 

Malwun, 87, 252 ; taken by British, 

Manipur, 167, 187, 228, 229; ex- 
pedition to, 233 ; occupation of, 
237; Burmese leave, 241; driven 
from, 248; left to British, 257. 

Manrique, Sebastian, traveller, 271, 

Manuha king, 34. 

Marayo, his supposed birth, 43 ; 
his marriages, ib. ; founds a city, 
ib. ; becomes king, ib. 

Marco Polo, ix., 59, 261. 

Mareura, city of, 4. 

Martaban, 65, 69, 83, 94, 264 ; as 
a seaport, 96 ; its situation, 97 ; 
assaulted, 97 ; destroyed, 98 ; in- 
vaded, 100 ; captured, 243 ; oc- 
cupied by British, 248 ; portion 
of, ceded to British, 257. 

Mason, Dr., vi. 

Maulmein town, 97 ; rebuilt, 257. 

Maung Maung, 208-210. 

Maung Mi, vii. 

Meng Beng, his ability, 79. 

Meng Khamaung, 173, 175, 177. 

Meng Khari reigns, 78. 

Meng Khaung king, 70-75, 272. 

Meng Khaung Noarahta, 184, 185. 

Meng Kyinyo, 92, 93. 

Mengkyiswa elected king, 64, 

Mengmyatbo, commander-in-chief, 

251. 257- 
MengnansI, chief, 82, 83, 84. 
Mengrebaya, his exile, 46. 
MengrS Kyoaswa, 84. 
Meng Soamwun, native king, 77, 78. 
Mengtara, 93, 94. 



Mengtara Buddha Kithi, monk- 
kiug, 142. 

Mengun, 222 ; pagoda at, 218. 

Menthagyi, 250, 251, 260. 

Mhoadoa, tyrant, 84. 

Mir Jumla, 178. 

M'Morine, General, 241. 

Mogaung taken, 61, 85; operations 
in, 194. 

Moluccas, 272. 

Mongol armies, their war with 
China, 52 ; occupy PugSn, 53. 

Mongoloid tribes, 4, 5 ; civilisation 
of, 28. 

Monyin, 82, 85. 

Morales, Ferdinand de, 264. 

Morrison, General, 247. 

MrSmma, 2, 3, 5, 8, 19, 41. 

Muddusitta king, 8 ; descendants 
of, 9. 

Muhammadan titles used by Bud- 
dhist kings, 78. 

Muller, Max, 6, ir. 

Mun language, 28. 

Murgnow, king, 12. 

Mweyen, city of, 4. 

Myatpun, 210. 

Myanku, 78. 

Myfede, 87, 252, 255 

Naga, 21 ; account of its worship, 

Ndgashin, queen, 9. 
Narabadi, 91, 106, 112. 
Narabadisithu, his reign, 50. 
Narathu, his reign, 49 ; his death, 

Naungdoagyl king, 184-186. 
Nazir Shah, 78. 
Negrais, 11, 158, 160, 166, 168, 238, 

Ngyaung Ram Meng king, 127. 
Nicolo di Conti, narrative of, 262. 
Nicote, adventurer, 125. 
Nikitin, Athanasius, traveller, 263. 
jVoton, Captain, 236. 

Omens, 137, 232. 

Pagoda, ix., 51; adorned, 98, 108, 
109; great, 135, 2i8; founded, 
157, 211; adorned, 207; small, 
230 ; the great, 238 ; garrisoned, 

Pagodas, plundered, 129 ; route 
known as The Three, 216. 

Palace at Pegu, 106, iii ; Avi 
built, 187, 233 ; Arakan, 272. 

Ptoylt built, 59 ; taken by the Mo- 
gaung, 60, 83. 

ParakrSma, his invasion of Pegu, 

5°: 51- 

Pegu, city known as, 5, 17, 19, 24; 
people of, 28; built, 29; subjec- 
tion of, 34, 35; conquest, 65'; 
invaded, 72, 73 ; enjoys peace; 
88 ; conquest, 1 05 ; rebellion of, 
III, 112; its splendour, 113; 
travellers' accounts of, US; me- 
naced, 121; depopulated, 122; 
besieged, 123 ; ruined, ib. ; its 
fertility, ib. ; rebellion in, 141 ; 
capital taken, 162 ; insurrection 
in, 167; invaded, 177; city en- 
tered, 243 ; classic name of, 270. 

Phalaung, 173. 

Phayd Tak, 205. 

Pimento, Nicolas, traveller, 270, 

PingtsS, 46. 

Pinto, Ferdinand Mendez, traveller, 

Pirates, 174. 

Pitika, books of, 21. 

Politic measures, 252. 

Pong, 12. 

Portuguese, 124, 129 ; in Arakan, 
172; settlements, 173; pirates, 

Portuguese fleet, 1 76 ; in Pegu, 2O4. 
Price, missionary, 256. 
Priests, Soa Rahcln, 22. 
Products, 109. 

Prome, 9, 10; well of, n ; other 
name of, 17; overthrown, 30 ; its 
position, 66 ; governor of, 70 ; be- 
sieged, 71, 74, 88, 95, 98 ; taken, 
99 ; retaken, 105 ; taken, 143 ; 
besieged by Talaings, 155 ; occu- 
pied by Arakanese, 181 ; occupied 
by British, 252. 
Ptolemy's geography, 261. 
PugSn, 18, 20, 21; its architecture 
and sculpture, 39 ; its temples, 
ib. ; action at, 256, 257. 
Pugan monarchy, the, its dangers, 

51 ; its end, 54, 57. 
Pukhan Wungyi, commander-in- 
chief, 251. 
Purchas' Pilgrims, 132. 
Pyti, the, 5, 8, 18, 19. 
Pyti Menti, 20 ; its intercourse, 



KajadieIt, king of Pegu, 68 ; his 
wars with Burma, 6S-75 ; his 
death, 75. 

Raj^griha, 48. 

B&jbansi people, 47 ; why so styled, 

Raj Guru, 233, 255. 

Kakhaingmyu, city of, 44. 

Ramanya, country of, 30. 

Ramri, 179. 

EAmu, town of, 78, 180, 181, 236. 

Rangoon founded, 157 ; occupation 
of, 238 ; fighting at, 242 ; fired, 
246 ; British army at, 257. 

Rangpur, 241. 

Rathemyu, ruins, II. 

Rathl Kyaung, hermit, 20. 

Rebellion in Martaban, 52. 

Relic, holy tooth, 117, 118; from 
heaven, 135 ; chambers, 172. 

Religious measures, 108, 109, no. 

Richards, Colonel, 241. 

Robertson, Thomas, commissioner, 

Robinson, 6, 13. 

S AOKIFICE of animals prohibited, no. 

Sagaing, kingdom established at, 
59 ; its dynasty, 61 ; events in 
the kingdom, 61, 62, 87. 

Saki tribe, 5, 8. 

Sakya tribe, migration of, 3. 

Salun, chief, 87, 88. 

Samuel, Thomas, 132. 

SSnda Thudhamma RSja, 1 78 ; his 
long reign, 180. 

Sandoway, 43, 72, 73, 76, 79, 100, 

San Germano, vi. 

Sanscrit, 4, 225. 

Shah Shuja, sad fate of, 178, 179. 

Shan dominion, 12 ; people of, 
13, 14; dominion broken, 37; 
people of 57 ; monarchy, 106. 

Shan, the three brothers, 57, 58 ; 
their rule, 59. 

Shans, their invasion , of Arakan, 
46 ; revolt of. Ii5. 

Shapland, Colonel, 236. 

Sheng Soabu, her high rank, 82- 

Shwfe Daguu, the great pagoda, 270. 

Siam, history of, 66 ; invaded, 100, 
no, 121 ; history of, 114-; in- 
vaded, 168, 188 ; capital fortified, 
189 ; taken, igo ; war with, 205 ; 

invaded, 215 ; heroic defence of, 

216 ; British excluded, 273. 
Silveyra, John de, 264. 
Singgusa, 207, 208, 212. 
Sithu Kyoahteng, 92. 
Sittanng, 102. 

Soa, queen, her ambition, 58. 
Soahpom^, queen, 82. 
Soalti, 37, 38. 
Soa Rahan, usurper, 21 ; priests of, 

22 ; deposed, 22 ; sons of, 22. 
Soati, 20. 
Sobana, 24. 

Sono, mission of, 26, 27. 
" Sophia " war sloop, 237. 
Southby, 1 68, 185. 
Stewart, 177. 
Sumatra, 272. 
Sundeep, 174. 
Surat factory, 273. 
Suratan country, 76. 
Suvarna Bhumi, country known as, 

19, 24 ; earliest notice of, 26. 
Syriam, 74 ; seaport, 124 ; attacked, 

126; destroyed, 128; taken, 

162 ; Burmese garrison expelled 

from, 243. 
Symes, Captain, v., vii., 221, 223. 

Tabeng SHwixi, 93-96, 99, 100 ; 

invades Arakan, 100 ; murdered, 

loi. 102. 
Tagaung, its antiquity, 4 ; by whom 

built, 7 ; king of, 8 ; how now 

known, 9 ; its ruins, 14. 
Tai race, 12-14. 
Taharwutbi, 94. 
Talaban, 145, 147,1 148, 151, 152, 

Talaings, 18, 19, 28, 29; army, 74. 
Tantra system, 33. 
Tarabya, 84 ; becomes king, 64 ; 

deposed and killed, 65. 
Taret, 8, 9, 1 1 ; who they are, 56. 
Taruk, 8, 9, 11; its application, 56. 
Tarukpyfemeng, his luxurious life, 

51 ; his reign, 52 ; his death, 54. 
Taungu, 83, 84 ; its position and 

extent, 90-95 ; armies at, 1 10 ; 

scene of miracle, 135 ; fortified, 

Teen, 13, 14. 
Telingana, 19. 
Temple of Ananda, 39 ; Damayangi, 

49 ; Goadoapaleng, 50. 
Tenasserira, coast of, 243 ; ceded to 

British, 257 : its seaport, ib. 



Thado Damma EAjil, 133 ; succeeds, 
134; his good reign, 135 ; death,, 

Thadogyoa, 131, 132. 

Thado Maha RSja, 9, 10. 

Thadomengbya, his reign, 62, 63 ; 
his death, 64. 

Thadomengsoa, 87. 

Thahtun, 19, 23, 24; by whom 
built, 27 ; as a seaport, 28 ; early 
history of, 29 ; destruction of, 

Thaminhtoa, 105, 106. 

Thaminsoadvvut, 104. 

Thamuddalt, 19, 20. 

Tharftwadi, 83 ; prince of, 250, 256, 

Tharekhettara, 11, 17-ig; over- 
thrown, 30. 

Thenga Rfija, reign of, 21. 

Thihadoa, pagoda at, 230. 

Thihapat^, 187, 188, 190, 205. 

Thihathu, 59, 74; reigns, 81; de- 
posed, 82, 199. 

Thina, city of, 25 ; its silk, ib. 

Thinghkabo, his sons, 57. 

ThinnI, state of, 73, 74 ; entered, 

ThirithudhammS RSji, 86 ; king, 

ThohanbwS, 88 ; his crufelty, 99 ; 
and end, 99 ; his influence, 106. 

Tippera, 79. 

Trade, 96; order as to, 221, 259; 
spice, 272. 

Traders, 157, 158, 187, 272. 

Traditions regarding the aborigines, 
27 ; first settlers in India, 24, 27 ; 
earl}' kings, 42. 

Travellers, 262, 263, 264-272. 

Treaty, 257. 

Tsin, 8. 

Tsulamani, 50; Boadi, 51. 

UeaeIt, 116. 
Ukkalaba, town of, 26. 
Usana reigns at Panya, 60 ; abdi- 
cates, ib. 
TJttaro, mission of, 26, 27. 

VaisAla, 22. 

Vasco de Gama, navigator, 264. 
Vincent, Dr., on the commerce of 
the ancients, 25. 

Wali Khan, 78. 

War, between Burma and Northern 

Shftn chiefs, 84-88 ; Burma and 

China, 54-56 ; Burma and Pegu, 

68-75 ; effects of, 113, 122, 138 ; 

origin of, with China, 190, 203 ; 

with British, how regarded, 250. 
WarSru, king of Martaban, 65 ; 

conquers Pegu, ib. ; slain, ii. ; 

dynasty, 67, 95 ; the Shdu king, 

Wellesley, 222. 
Welsh, Captain, 227. 
WethSli, when built, 45 ; its kings, 

Whitehill, 167, 168, 1:85. 
Wilson, Horace, vii., viii. 
Writings, 21. 

Yandabo, British army at, 257. 

Yihchow, 14, 

Yuen dynasty, 55. 

Yule, Colonel, remarks of, 24, 42, 
55, 219, 261. 

Yunhli, emperor of China, 136-139. 

Yunnftn, 1 ,5 ; its gold, 25 ; its gold- 
leaf exported, ib. ; its silk export, 
26 ; its revolt, 30 ; its town 
taken, 52. 

Yuthia, loi. 

Yuva RSjd succeeds Bureng Naung, 
120; invades Siam, 121.